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A History 


Simcoe County 




Volume II. The Pioneers. 



Copyright, Canada, 1909 
By Andrew F. Hunter 

WARWICK BRO'S & RUTTER, Limited, Printers 






Chapter. Page. 

I. Holland Landing- 1 

II. West Gwillimbury 13 

' III. Tecumseth 32 

IV. Adjala 46 

V. Innisfil . 53 

VI.. ^ssa .....; 77 

VII. Tosorontio 90 

VIII. The Penetang-uishene Road Part 1 95 

IX. The Penetanguishene Road Part II 117 

X. Oro 134 

XI. South Orillia 159 

XII. ^ North Orillia 172 

XIII. J Matchedash . . . 180 

XIV. ^Medonte 184 

XV. - Tay 193 

XVI. Vespra 203 

XVII. \7Flos 214 

XVIII. v Tiny 220 

XIX. ySunnidale 225 

XX. Nottawasaga 232 

Appendix. Lists of Pioneers 263 

Settlers before 1837 265 


List of Illustrations. 

Volume II. 


Benjamin W. Smith, the first Sheriff of Simcoe County 7 

Diagram showing- the original position of Bradford 15 

The Bradford High School, successor of the Grammar School ot '59 19 

Thomas Atkins, West Gwillimbury, Warden, 1874 25 

The Simcoe County Council of 1885 37 

George McManus, Mono Mills, Warden, 1859 47 

A group of 26 pioneers, residents of Innisfil for 60 years and over 55 
Thos. D. McConkey, Warden, 1860-1 ; M.P. for North Simcoe, 

1863-72 61 

Queen Street, Cookstown 65 

Thos. R. Ferguson, Warden, 1858 and 1862-7 ; M.P. for South 

Simcoe, 1857-67 66 

Edmund S. Lally, County Treasurer, 1845-61 73 

W. C. Little, M.P., for South Simcoe, 1867-82 74 

Cookstown Public School of to-day 79 

The Boyne River, at Alliston 87 

Victoria Street, Alliston 91 

The Simcoe County Council, 1890 105 

Charles Drury, Sheriff, 1894-1905 109 

John Craig, Medonte, Warden, 1857 121 

The Provincial Asylum, Penetanguishene 128 

Lt.-Col. Edward G. O'Brien 135 

St. Thomas Church, Shanty Bay, (erected 1839) 139 

John C. Steele, Oro, Warden, 1875 147 

Henry A. Clifford, County School Inspector, 1846-50 151 

Knox Church, Oro, (erected 1844) 155 

In Couchiching Park, Orillia 161 

The Municipal Building, Orillia 162 

The Provincial Asylum, Orillia 165 

A Glimpse of Lake Couchiching 173 

John Kean, Orillia, Warden, 1868 177 

The Ragged Rapids, Severn River, and Orillia's Power Plant. ... 181 

W. N. Rutledge, Medonte, Warden, 1877 185 

Water Power Dam at Coldwater 189 




Public School, Coldwater 190 

H. H. Cook, M.P. for North Simcoe, 1872-8 195 

The Simcoe County Council, 1900 199 

Barrie from the Bay 207 

Collegiate Institute, Barrie, successor of the first Grammar School 209 

C. P. R. Bridge (trestlework), near Midhurst 210 

O. J. Phelps, Flos ; Warden, 1881 ; Sheriff, 1890-4 215 

The Simcoe County Council, 1908 221 

A Picturesque Spot near Stayner 227 

Ex-Wardens of later years 239 

Creemore, from Ten Hill 245 

Main Street, Stayner 249 

Rapids on Pretty River, Near Nottawa 253 

Chas. Cameron, Collingwood, Warden, 1879 257 

John Hogg, Collingwood, Warden, 1873 261 

A History of Simcoe County, 

Vol. 2. The Pioneers. 

Chapter I. 


In taking" up the different sections of the county, as we now pro- 
pose to do, after having- sketched its public affairs, and the origin and 
development of its institutions, it will be proper to begin with Holland 
Landing and proceed northward, following the order of settlement. 
Yonge Street, the northern terminus of which was the "Holland Land- 
ing," formed the original boundary of this county. It was not until 1852 
that the lots on Yonge Street, at that place, and all that part of West 
Gwillimbury lying on the south-east side of the West Branch of the 
Holland River, were detached from that township and annexed to the 
County of York. One half of early Holland Landing, then, having 
been inside' the limits of Simcoe, will properly come within the scope of 
our review, especially as it was the main gateway into the county before 
the railway. Also, because it was the commercial emporium for a 
long time, and to all intents and purposes, it was the capital of this 
county from the passing of the Act of 1821, defining its boundaries, 
till the Act of 1837 and proclamation, when Barrie became the county 
seat. The elections all took place there, the Registrar of Lands lived 
there, and official business generally was transacted there. 

Holland River took its name from a former surveyor-general of 
Canada Major S. Holland who, in 1791, made a trip by way of 
Toronto Bay, Lake Simcoe, and the Balsam Lake chain, for the pur- 
pose of exploring the country. In the same year he constructed a 
large manuscript map of the parts visited by him, which still exists 
in the Crown Land Office of Ontario. This large map is the earliest 



that we have of the south part of Lake Simcoe (or "Lake LeClie," as 
it was called), and even this one is very crude and shapeless, for the 
west half of the lake is left entirely undefined. 


Leaving- Cook's Bay, and following- up stream the east branch 
of the Holland River, the first landmark of importance that one finds is 
the old Soldiers' Landing, also known as the Lower, or Steamboat 
Landing. This was used during the war of 1812-15; and for many 
years after the expiration of the war a number of cannons were left 
here in charge of a soldier. They were afterwards removed by the 
Government. They had been brought here as the "Landing" was the 
point at which all heavy goods in transit over the Great Portage from 
Lake Ontario to Lake Huron were placed on board the batteaux for 
transportation across Lake Simcoe. Here, too, the well-known 
anchor of such enormous dimensions remained for many years as a 
memento of the war time. But, like the cannons, it has also been 
removed, though not to a great distance. A few years ago it was 
hauled, with much difficulty from the Lower Landing to the village 
park near the Upper Landing, where it now rests. This gigantic 
anchor came from His Majesty's dockyards in England, and was in- 
tended for a large frigate that was under construction at Drummond 
Island, in Lake Huron. On its way thither it had reached the Holland 
Landing by the assistance of sixteen yoke of oxen, when peace came 
and interrupted all further operations at the "Navy Yard" on Drum- 
mond Island. Being too large for transportation (its length is 15 1-2 
feet, excluding- the ring), except under most urgent circumstances, the 
anchor brought thus far on its way, was left at Holland Landing, 
where it now remains to form a curious monument of those early 
stirring times. A smaller anchor, had in its passage over the Great 
Portage, reached the Willow Creek, where it remained for a few years, 
and was then removed. 

Afterwards, when regular navigation opened on Lake Simcoe, the 
Lower Landing was used for the larger vessels and steamers. At this 
place the Holland River was about twenty-five yards wide; its banks 
were low and marshy, and thickly wooded with tamarac. It was at 
this uninviting place that Yonge Street, the great colonization high- 
way, terminated, and merged into the water course across Lake Sim- 
coe. Dr. Scadding, one of our most entertaining Canadian historians, 


describes in his Toronto of Old, the Lower Landing as it appeared 
before it fell into its present deserted condition. 

Many early travellers of distinction visited the Lower Landing 
in the course of their journeys, and have left records of the scenes 
which they beheld. 

One of the earliest travellers to arrive at Holland Landing was 
Mr. John Goldie, the writer of a journal which contained remarks re- 
lating to Simcoe County. He was by occupation a botanist and gar- 
dener, and first came to America on a tour to examine the plants of 
the country in 1817. His journal was written two years later, in 1819, 
while he was on a second trip. 

Sir John Franklin embarked here in 1825, when on his first over- 
land expedition to the Arctic Seas ; and in 1827, John Gait, who was 
on his way to Goderich, via Penetanguishene, also embarked at this 

The open space referred to by Gait and other early writers was 
used as a camping-ground by the early Indians and fur-traders. Here 
could be seen encamped at all seasons of the year large numbers of 
Indians, often from very remote districts on the upper lakes. Many 
of these came several times a year for the purpose of bartering their 
furs at Holland Landing, which was a sort of emporium for a large 
part of the northern country. Whiskey was too frequently the article 
sought and obtained by them. On one occasion the writer's grand- 
father counted no less than thirty wigwams of the larger kind clustered 
on the common adjoining the Landing. Here, too, the annual distri- 
butions of presents to the Indians were made at first. The ceremony 
was witnessed by the distinguished traveller Capt. Basil Hall, on July 
2oth, 1827, who has described it in an interesting manner in his 
Travels in North America in 1827-28. The distribution for the year 
1828 took place on August i4th, and a description of it has been left 
us by the native preacher, Rev. Peter Jones. (Life and Journals, p. 
164). In Appendix A, of Dean Harris' Catholic Church in the Niagara 
Peninsula (Toronto, 1895), there is a narrative of the loss of a child 
in the Holland Marsh, and it shows the skill displayed by Indians in 
the recovery of the lost one. 


Continuing our journey up stream, the next landmark reached is 
the Upper, or Canoe Landing, which is about a mile and a half above 


the Steamboat Landing. This Upper Landing- was the ancient Indian 
place of embarkation of the war-parties and hunting-parties ; and after 
the white men came upon these scenes it was still used as a landing- 
place for canoes and lighter craft which could get higher up the stream 
than the steamboat Landing. A small by town, consisting of two or 
three business places, arose at the Upper Landing at an early date 
sometime in the twenties. The cause of its origin was this. The fur 
trade of Newmarket, which was large in the early years of this cen- 
tury, was chiefly supplied "from the Great Lakes of the Northland"; 
and the Indians used to effect a landing on the Holland River at this 
place after travelling with their furs over lakes, rivers and portages for 
many miles. The business men of Newmarket saw that the nearer they 
were to the landing-place, the more easily they could catch the trade 
"first there, first served." In those early days it was a common sight to 
see 30 or 40 large wigwams of Indians from distant hunting grounds 
on the commons adjoining the landing-place. "To get the first bid," 
was therefore the object of these men in locating as close as possible 
to the place of landing, for it usually happened that the first bidder 
became the buyer. In this way the small bytown arose. A day school 
was opened by the Methodists, amongst the Indians at this place, on 
Feb. i2th, 1828. It had an average of about twenty scholars, and was 
kept by Phoebe Edmonds, a young missionary, whose name is familiar 
in the records of early Canadian mission work. 

The Upper Landing was more frequently called "Johnson's Land- 
ing," after its first settler, Joseph Johnson, sr. He was one of five 
brothers of U.K. Loyalist descent, and had originally settled on Yonge 
Street, between Thornhill and Hogg's Hollow, about the time of the 
war of 1812-15. Shortly after this, however, he exchanged this Yonge 
Street Property with a Mr. Davis, (whose hotel, built upon it, has 
been a familiar landmark for later travellers), taking in exchange the 
property at the Upper Landing Place on the Holland River. He at 
once permanently settled upon the latter, and his name from that time 
onward was connected with the place. 

Amongst other early settlers at Johnson's Landing was Capt. 
Wm. Laughton, who was more familiarly known as "Squire" Laugh- 
ton. He came from Newmarket, of which he had been an early resi- 
dent, and was associated with Borland & Roe, the Indian fur traders. 
Laughton was the youngest member of this firm. In 1838 he was 
owner of the steamer "Peter Robinson," and he subsequently became 
captain of the steamer "Beaver," and of which he became sole pro- 


prietor in 1850. He was one of the first magistrates at Holland Land- 
ing-. In later years Captain Laughton became a resident of Bell 

Borland, who was also a member of this trading firm, had Indian 
blood in his veins, and during- the Rebellion of '37 he commanded a 
company of two hundred Indians stationed at Holland Landing. Wm. 
Roe, the third member of the firm, died in 1879 at the advanced age 
of eighty-four. Dr. Scadding sketches the careers of these two early 
adventurers in his usual interesting manner. They were connected in 
some way with probably they were agents for the North-West 
Company, which had a large storehouse at Johnson's Landing. Alex- 
ander Sutherland was another of those connected with the same ,Com- 
pany, and was a resident here until his death a few years ago. Phile- 
mon Squire, who was more commonly known as "Phil." Squire, may 
also be enumerated among those who located at an early date in this 
bytown at Johnson's Landing. 

Communication was possible between this place and the Lower 
Landing either by boat or by the road, which was known as Dalhousie 
Street. The two places are separated by a distance of a mile and a 


About a mile and a half above the Upper or Canoe Landing arose 
the village of Holland Landing itself the early commercial distribut- 
ing point for Simcoe. Until 1853, however, it was sometimes known 
as St. Albans, and sometimes as Beverly. Although it appears to 
have been laid out as a village in 1835, its origin was some years 
earlier, for about the year 1821, Peter Robinson, of Newmarket, built 
the far-famed "Red Mill," on lot 106 of Yonge Street, thus forming 
the nucleus of the village destined to play such an important part in the 
history of this district. The "Red Mill" was largely patronized for 
many years after its erection, having been the nearest grist mill to the 
inhabitants of this county. It was built on a grand scale for those 
days, all the interior timbers and lining having been planed. In 1822 
the Tyson family came from Pennsylvania and located in Holland 
Landing. Isaiah Tyson became miller in the "Red Mill," and ran 
it on shares for Robinson. As the mill was driven by Water power, 
their greatest grievance was scarcity of water, which limited the 
amount of work done ; otherwise their patronage from the extensive 
pioneer settlements away to the north could easily have reached 200 


or 300 bushels per day. After Mr. Robinson's death the mill passed 
into the hands of Thorne & Barwick, of Thornhill, who fitted it with 
steam power. In later years it was not used except for storage pur- 
poses, but stood as a relic of early times, until destroyed by fire, 
March 2nd, 1894. 

Hon. Peter Robinson was an enterprising- man of business, and 
was widely known in his day. Some time after 1822 he built a com- 
modious tavern in Holland Landing, south of and near the "Red 
Mill," for the convenience of travellers who began to be numerous, 
- and leased it to Francis Phelps, who was one of the central figures of 
the village until his premature death in 1836 at the age of 42. Phelps' 
sons, J. A. and Alfred Phelps, became carpenters and remained citizens 
of Holland Landing. The latter, however, removed afterwards to 
Omaha, Nebraska, where he prospered and became well-to-do. Other 
sons were Hugh and Henry Phelps. Mr. Robinson was somewhat of a 
roving character, and never married. Acting under instructions of the 
Government of the time, he brought put a shipload of Irish Catholics, 
in 1824, and spent about a year in locating them at Peterborough. 
The history of that town, although he did not live there, dates from the 
time of their arrival. For these services in helping to colonize Upper 
Canada, he was well paid by the Government, which was then in the 
hands of the Family Compact. (Robinson's evidence regarding the 
.settlement of Peterborough may be found in the Third Report of the 
Emigration Committee, 1827, pp. 344-9, etc.). 

In 1827 the Hon. Peter Robinson was appointed Surveyor-Gen- 
eral of Woods and Forests in the Province of Upper Canada, and 
had an office in Toronto. At the same time he was also appointed 
Commissioner of Crown Lands. He was also a member of the Legis- 
lative Council, which was the upper branch of the Legislature in those 
days, and corresponded with the Senate of to-day. He held these posi- 
tions until his death in 1837, not having lived to see the Rebellion at 
the close of that year. 


In 1822 there were but a few families living in Holland Landing; 
but during the next years the village grew rapidly. It may be of 
interest to mention some of these first families and what became of 

Benjamin W. Smith, the First Sheriff of Simcoe County, 1843-75. 



The Tyson family, already spoken of, contained several members. 
One of the daughters afterwards became the wife of Sheriff Smith, of 
Barrie. Thomas, one of the sons, who was born in 1811, married a 
Miss Pearson and at first settled in Lloydtown in 1832. He was later 
a resident of Clarksburg-, Ont. , for several years, where he had mills 
in operation. Joseph, a younger son, studied law in the office of the 
late H. B. Hopkins, Barrie; he subsequently settled in the south- 
west U. S. , acquired some reputation in the legal profession, and be- 
came Judge Tyson. 

The Sweezy family were also early residents here. Betsy became 
wife of Alexander Walker, one of Barrie's pioneers, in 1828. Her 
brothers, Peter and William, for many years after this were citizens 
of Holland Landing. 

Eli Beman, a half brother of Peter, William B., and Chief Justice 
Sir John B. Robinson, was also one of the leading men of the place. 
Some time prior to 1832 he built a log shelter house on the north 
side of Kempenfeldt Bay, half way between Barrie and Shanty Bay. 
This house was connected with the early traffic to Penetanguishene, as 
was also the schooner on Lake Simcoe, which Beman owned for some 
time, before the introduction of steamers. In 1830, the Indians of this 
district were collected on a tract of land stretching from the Narrows 
at Orillia to Matchedash Bay; and during 1831, a line of houses was 
built for their use along the Coldwater Road. These were situated 
a mile apart over some of the distance from Orillia to Coldwater. 
Beman was the Government contractor for this undertaking, the work 
having been superintended by one Wilson. Beman died in 1869 at the 
age of 70 years. 

Amongst other notable men of the place at this time were the 
Lounts Samuel and George. 

Gabriel Lount their father, was a land surveyor, and came from 
Catawissa, Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River to Upper Canada 
in 1811, taking up lot No. 84 on the east side of Yonge Street, in 
Whitchurch. He had originally come as a boy from England, and 
had to make his own way in the world ; but as he did not fall in with 
the republican ideas prevalent on the Susquehanna, decided to betake 
himself again to British soil in Canada. His two eldest sons, Samuel 
and George later took up lot No. 103 on 'the west side of Yonge 
Street on the top of the hill south of Holland Landing. 

Samuel Lount, his eldest son, who was executed after the Rebellion 
of '37, was born Sept. 24th, 1791. He did not become a regular land 


surveyor, like his father and younger brother, George, but was an ex- 
pert woodsman, or ranger and explorer of the great northern forests, 
and as such assisted his brother, George, with the surveys of the Town- 
ships of West Gwillimbury, Tecumseth and Innisfil, not to mention other 
work in this line. About the same time he made a special exploration 
of the Nottawasaga River for the Upper Canadian Government. He 
was also a proficient blacksmith, and a handy man generally, having 
become such doubtless in the employ or assistance of his brother-in- 
law, Benjamin Hawke, who had the contract during the war of 1812- 
15 for the transportation of the soldiers' supplies across the portage 
on their way to Mackinaw and the other posts of the interior. 

In course of time Samuel Lount became one of the best known 
men in these northern parts of the country, ultimately, in 1834, being 
elected one of the members of the Upper Canada Legislature for S'im- 
coe County. In our chapter on old elections and parliamentary rep- 
resentation, his political career is referred to at more length. The 
part he bore in the Rebellion is familiar to all readers of the history 
of that period, and need not detain us. After the defeat of the insurg- 
ent force at Montgomery's, he tried to make his way to the States, 
but was captured near Hyde's Point, about a mile and a half west 
of the mouth of the Grand River. He and some others had been on 
Lake Erie for some days, vainly trying to cross it in an open boat. 
Mr. Hyde saw them and went to their rescue, finding them almost 
exhausted and stupid with exposure to the cold. Some men in the 
neighborhood secured them as prisoners, suspecting they were "rebels," 
and took them to Dunnville. The execution of Samuel Lount on April 
1 2th, following, has come to be looked on by all kinds of people, as a 
kind of judicial murder, for which there was not sufficient justification 
or warrant. His family moved to the United States, some of them 
immediately after the insurrection. 

George Lount was born Feb. 3rd, 1799, and before he had attained 
the age of twenty had qualified as a land surveyor. With his elder, 
brother, Samuel, who was an expert man in the woods, he surveyed 
three townships in Simcoe County, viz., West Gwillimbury, Tecum- 
seth and Innisfil, in the years 1819 and 1820, Richard Birdsall being 
associated with them in the survey of the last named (Innisfil). Their 
father, Gabriel Lount, was the nominal contractor for surveying W. 
Gwillimbury and Tecumseth, but the sons did the work, owing to 
his increasing years. He died in the twenties. When Simcoe County 
was erected into a separate county, George became its first Registrar, 
2a (n) 


1826. He was the first Postmaster at Holland Landing, also a tin- 
smith, a merchant, a farmer, and what one might call a "jack of all 
trades," in fact, just such a man as a new and growing- country 
could find most useful. After a few years, when the circumstances 
required it, (Oct., 1846), he moved to Barrie, which had become the 
county town. He and his family have been so closely identified with 
this county that they deserve a full account in our sketches. He was 
the projector, and directed the survey, of the Minesing Road in 1847, 
intended to reach Nottawasaga Bay. After serving as Registrar of 
land deeds for nearly half a century, he resigned in 1872, and was 
succeeded by his son, Samuel. He died in 1874. 

Aaron Jakeway became a resident of Holland Landing in 1830, 
and lived there for 43 years. He was by trade a tinsmith, and was 
deputy of George Lount, the first postmaster. He spent the last years 
of his life in S'tayner, where his son, Dr. C. E. Jakeway, had a medical 

Another well-known figure in his day was Colonel John Barwick, 
who was the business partner of Benjamin Thorne, of Thornhill ; and 
some time after the death of the Hon. Peter Robinson, when the "Red 
Mill" passed into the hands of Thorne & Barwick, the Colonel moved 
from Thornhill and became a resident of Holland Landing. While 
living at Thornhill, he had, at his own expense, fitted out a regiment of 
cavalry during the Rebellion, but never obtained remuneration for this 
service. The annals of the Rebellion are mostly silent as to this 
troop of cavalry, yet Barwick's Horse Guards, of which he was Colonel, 
saw some service. After a period spent in Holland Landing, during 
which time he resided near the mill, he moved to Toronto. For some years 
he was one of the moving spirits of the Agriculture and Arts Associa- 
tion, under whose auspices the Provincial Exhibition of that day was 
held from city to city. He was piesident of the Association in 1861, 
and the same year he removed to Holland Landing, where he spent 
the remainder of his life. 

Henry Blackstone, a grandson of the English law commentator, 
Sir William Blackstone, was the representative of the legal profession 
in early Holland Landing. He died suddenly in 1850 or shortly after 
that year. 

Before the railway was constructed the grain trade was a factor 
in the life of Holland Landing, and was represented by three dealers 
-Laidlaw, McMaster and Parsons. All three had general stores ; 


there were other general stores in the village, but these three, only, 
bought grain. 

Douglas Laidlaw was a live business man. John Davidson en- 
gaged with him as a chore boy, and subsequently attained to a part- 
nership with Laidlaw, whose sister also entered into a matrimonial 
partnership with Davidson. The opening of the railway in 1853 
caused Holland Landing to decay, and more northerly places to rise. 
When this occurred, Laidlaw & Davidson removed from Holland Land- 
ing, and became merchants in the more modern village of Lefroy. 
Here they again carried on an extensive business in the grain trade. 

While residing at Lefroy, Laidlaw married Elizabeth, daughter of 
"Squire" Benjamin Ross, of Innisfil, and afterwards removed to 
Toronto. Davidson was for a few years a member of the Innisfil 
Township Council. 

The same cause which transferred Laidlaw & Davidson to Lefroy 
the opening of the railway brought McMaster from Holland Landing 
to Bradford. 

About the time of the construction of the railway, the largest 
hotel in Holland Landing was kept by Thos. May, but this institution 
has gone to decay, along with many other substantial buildings, and 
the place wears a somewhat worn out appearance. 

In the appendix to this volume, the reader will find a list of the 
heads of families in Holland Landing in 1836. 

Chapter II. 


The settlers who first crossed the Holland River arrived in the 
fall of 1819, and were three Irishmen James Wallace, Lewis Algeo 
and Robert Armstrong. Armstrong came from the County of Leitrim, 
with a family, and settled on lot 13, con. 6, within two miles of the 
present site of Bradford. He had a large family, chiefly boys, Christopher 
Thomas, John, Robert, William, Simon, James and Allan, from whom 
have come a numerous lineage. Christopher, the eldest, did not take 
up with bush life, but studied law, and afterwards became a judge in 
Carleton County. 

James Wallace, was a native of King's County, Ireland, and 
on arriving in West Gwillimbury he settled on the S'. half, lot 14, con. 
6. Near his place was the "Old Wharf," or "Wallace's Wharf," as 
many called it the first crossing on the Holland River, used by the 
earliest settlers, until 1824, when the corduroy and floating bridge 
came into use. There was a ferry here, and a rope strung across the 
river, by which all the early settlers crossed in a boat. After Mr. 
Wallace arrived he married Martha Walker, whose family (Walker) 
became pioneers in Tecumseth. The first beef killed in the Township 
of West Gwillimbury was in Wallace's log barn. During the night 
following, a wolf crawled into the barn through a hole and ate so 
much beef that he could not get back through the hole, so they shot 
him in the barn next morning. Mr. Wallace died in March, 1848, aged 
48 years. His family consisted of five sons and seven daughters, most 
of whom reached manhood and womanhood. 

Lewis Algeo, the pioneer of lot 13, con. 7, wore with him to the 
backwoods a belt or girdle containing seven hundred sovereigns, ac- 
cording to a custom of the time to carry one's coins in a belt. As it 
was easy to get rid of money fast in such a place and at such a time 
of hardship, his little pile of gold soon grew less. He was of Italian 
extraction, but immediately from Ireland, his wife being a daughter 
of Robert Armstrong, his pioneer neighbor. It is said she was the 
first white woman to cross the Holland River. Their children were 



partly grown when they came in 1819. The Algeo family made some 
clearing on the land mentioned, then sold it to Hugh Scobie, and 
afterwards had a small store in Bradford in its early days. Mr. 
Algeo's death occurred in or about the year 1839, and his family 
mostly became permanent settlers in this county. 

In the vicinity of Coulson's Corners the brothers Milloy William 
and Timothy (adherents of the Roman Catholic Church), settled at 
an early date. After this, William became the pioneer of Bradford, 
in this way. While living near Coulson's Corners, his wife died, and 
he subsequently married again, and for a time lived in East Gwillim- 
bury ; then, in the fall of 1829, he built a small log tavern at the fork 
of the main road where one branch led to the Scotch Settlement, the 
other northward and this was the beginning of Bradford. A year or 
two prior to William Milloy 's advent at the forks of Yonge Street, 
a small log house had been built to the west of it by Theodore Slier- 
wood on the property of Letitia McGee, where he made spinning-wheels, 
wooden chairs, and other articles for a few years. He had bought 
half an acre from her, but was of a roving disposition, and did not 
stay permanently at the place. The small tavern of Wm. Milloy, at the 
forks of the road, was in a field, to the east, for the first road did not 
run in its proper place. In '31 or '32 John Edmanson built another tavern 
on his own lot, at the proper corner, and promoted the opening of the 
correct survey. As it was in opposition to Milloy, it created great 
annoyance to him and one or two others who had built at the original 
fork of the road in Mr. Stoddart's field. Great was the rivalry for 
some time, on account of this projected change. In the end the road 
was opened in the proper place and straightened ; and settlers immedi- 
diately began to locate at Edmanson 's Corner. The superseded hamlet 
became known as "Old Bradford." William Milloy, after this rivalry, 
built at Amsterdam (on the south side of the Holland River), a hostelry 
which the settlers dubbed "Bullfrog Tavern," and where a hundred or 
more soldiers were quartered during the winter of the Rebellion. 

Acting on instructions from the Surveyor-General, dated' December 
23, 1836, George Lount had surveyed Amsterdam on the south side of 
the Holland River, near Bradford, for the purpose of building a store- 
house to be used in connection with the boats on the lake, and a wharf. 
But only a few people ever "located" in Amsterdam, which had streets 
named De Ruyder, De Witt, Van Dyke, Rubens, Keyser, etc., all 
good Hollandish names. Finally, in 1869,* Thompson Smith, the lum- 
berman, obtained from the Government the patent for the unused site 





of the "Town of Amsterdam," and devoted it to the benefits of saw- 
logs and lumber. 

Among- the first inhabitants of Bradford were : James Drury, mer- 
chant; James Campbell, shoemaker; Thomas Driffel, blacksmith; and 
John Gordon, wagonmaker. About the same time, Isaac B. Rogers, 
a farmer living a concesson farther north, built a store in the village, 
but did not occupy it himself. This building he sold to John Peacock, 
an old soldier, from London, England, who settled in the village as a 
merchant. Mr. Driffel built a small log blacksmith shop, and com- 
menced work in December, 1831, continuing at his trade for about 
twenty years. He then started a hardware and general business, 
which he carried on, and in 1858 was the first reeve of Bradford. On 
May 23rd, 1871, with about a hundred other inhabitants, he was 
burnt out with heavy loss. 

All these men arrived within two years after Milloy's advent at 
the original bend in the road. Letitia McGee also built a .dwelling 
house on her own lot at this time, or shortly afterwards. A family 
of Maconchy's, who had previously settled on lot 15, con. 5, Innisfil, 
removed to Bradford about 1840, when the place was still quite young. 
They had a sawmill at the bridge, (the first mill there), about the year 
1848, and carried on a general store business under the name of 
Maconchy Bros, for some years. Thomas, one of the family, became, 
1845, the second representative to the District Council and a member 
of the Municipal Council. In 1857 he contested South Simcoe, as the 
Liberal candidate, against Hon. W. B. Robinson and Thos, R. Fer- 
guson, the election resulting in the return of the latter. Subsequently 
Thomas Maconchy moved to Gilford, where he spent the remainder of 
his life. 

A young man, Gibson Cook, came to Bradford in 1852 (or there- 
about), before the railway had crossed the Holland River, and began 
to buy wheat for Mr. Brunskill, of Thornhill. Mr. Cook was probably 
the first grain dealer in Bradford, .and afterwards became a resident 

Arthur McMaster, one of the early storekeepers of Holland Land- 
ing, who has been already mentioned, moved to Bradford in 1856, or 
thereabout, after the railway was built. The construction of the rail- 
way caused Holland Landing to decay and Bradford to rise ; and 
McMaster's removal was for the purpose of catching the western 
trade. The McMaster business afterward passed into the hands of 
Mr. Driffel. 


For some years John Kennedy Falconbridge, J.P. , was also a 
merchant of Bradford. His son, Sir Wm. Glenholme Falconbridge has 
risen to be Chief Justice of the King's Bench Division. 

But with this sketch of the early merchants of Bradford, we have 
been led down to more recent times. It will now be proper to return 
to the period before 1830, and to Bradford's neighborhood. 

West of Bradford settled John Stoddart and his three sons in 1829. 
The first Anglican services in the township were held in Wm. Stod- 
dart's house. On the third lot west of Bradford, there settled about 
this time one who afterwards became well-known in Canadian jour- 
nalism Hugh Seobie. He came from near Keoldale, Sutherlandshirc, 

On lot 5, con. 7, there settled in the early twenties, a native of 
Nottingham, Eng. , William Armson, who became the first representa- 
tive, or councillor of the township. He was an old soldier who had 
served in the Peninsular campaign, and sometimes wore his medal, to 
which was attached eight clasps, testifying to the important services 
he had rendered in the field. At the annual meeting of the inhabi- 
tants of West Gwillimbury, in January, 1842, he received the honor of 
being elected its first representative, or councillor, to the meetings 
of the Home District Council in Toronto. Simcoe District was then 
created, and in 1843 he attended its meetings in Barrie. He remained 
representative continuously till the end of 1857. For seven years he 
was Warden of Simcoe (1846-1853). He died in 1858 at the age of 
74 years, and was buried at Christ Church, Middleton. A grandson 
of Mr. Armson, was the Hon. Dr. W. A. Willoughby, who represented 
East Northumberland in the Ontario Legislature until his death in 
1908. John Wright Armson, his son, resided on the homestead for 
the greater part of his life, and died Oct. 28th, 1908, aged 78 years. 


The first extensive location of white settlers in the Township 
of West Gwillimbury bears the name of the "Scotch Settlement," 
and during the first half century that elapsed after it took rise, it was 
a unique locality in the life of the district, its origin being no less 

In the year 1811, Lord Selkirk obtained from the Hudson Bay 
Company a tract of land for settlement purposes, lying along the Red 
River; and in the autumn of 1812 Miles Macdonnell brought to it 



a colony of about 100 persons from the North of Scotland many of 
them from Helmsdale and its neighborhood and erected houses. In 
June 1814, 50 more came, and in September, 1814, their number was 
about 200 settlers and laborers. 

The original settlers of the "Scotch Settlement" emigrated to the 
Red River with this colony of Lord Selkirk. While there, they ex- 
perienced great privations and suffering, having nothing to eat except 
buffalo meat, not even bread, or as the Highland women said : "No 
nothing but flesh." After remaining there for two or three years, 
a party of them determined to leave their place of exile, in 1816, and 
return to the less remote forests of Upper Canada. It is related that 
the officials heard of their design, and "placed some ordnance to pre- 
vent them. The deserters managed, however, to get hold of the great 
guns, and protected themselves as they left the settlement." The 
extant literature of these Red River troubles is quite abundant. (See 
statement respecting the Earl of Selkirk's Settlement upon the Red 
River of North America; its destruction in 1815 and 1816; and the 
massacre of Governor Semple and his party. London, 1817; New 
York, 1818). 

For an account of the trials of the prisoners at York (Toronto), 
see Dr. Scadding's Toronto of Old, p. 299, etc. 

After traversing the five hundred miles of rocky wilderness be- 
tween Fort Garry and Fort William, the fugitives reached the latter 
place. Here the North-West Company, in order to promote their 
removal from the country, fitted out a fleet of small boats to transport 
them down the lakes. In this small fleet they arrived at the outlet of 
Nottawasaga River, which they ascended, as well as its tributary, the 
Willow Creek; then crossed the Nine-Mile Portage to the head of 
Kempenfeldt Bay. Passing across Lake Simcoe, they reached the 
settlements on Yonge Street. About three years later they went up 
the Holland River as far as the third concession, landed, and made a 
settlement on the peninsular portion of West Gwillimbury lying be- 
tween the river and its north branch. 

As far as can be ascertained, the fugitives consisted of the follow- 
ing seventeen men, some of whom had wives and families: 

Sutherland (6) Donald, Haman, William, Robert, James and 
Angus. McKay (4) James, Roderick, Robert and Donald. John 
Matthewson. (There were two men of this name, called "Red" John, 
and "Black" John for the sake of distinction). McBeth (2) Andrew, 
Charles. Geo. Ross, Arthur Campbell and George Bannerman. 


These, then, were the pioneers of the "Scotch Settlement" in West 
Gwillimbury, and, indeed, of Simcoe County. It is related that they 
did not all arrive at the Holland River at the same time, but that they 
came in two parties; and that the second party, which came after the 
final destruction of the Red River colony, consisted of Robert and Rod- 
erick McKay, two McBeths, and one!- Sutherland five men in all. These 
are said to have come by way of Parry Sound and Orillia in 1816. 

Of the Sutherlands, many of their descendants reside in the neigh- 
borhood. Of the McKays, Robert and Roderick, for many years the 
former was a resident of Innisfil, while the latter was a citizen of 
Bradford. "Red" John Matthewson was a prominent worker in mat- 
ters pertaining" to the Presbyterian church of the settlement. For many 
years he conducted the Sabbath school, and is described as an "excellent 
translator of sermons in the Gaelic tongue, at their Sabath day meet- 
ings. " After residing there for a number of years, he removed to 
the Talbot settlement, in the western part of the Province, where he 
took up his permanent abode. Descendants of the McBeths are numer- 
ous. A son of Andrew McBeth (John McBeth), removed, about 1864, 
to Nottawasaga, where he was a resident until his death on Dec. 4th, 
1889, at an advanced age. Members of his family, on various occasions, 
occupied seats at the Town Council Board of Stayner. 

Wm. McBeth was drowned in the North Branch of the Holland 
River, August 2nd, 1830. 

From the first, the success of the members of this Highland set- 
tlement was rapid, notwithstanding the privations, common to all 
Canadian pioneers, which they experienced during the first years after 
their arrival. 

Owing to their poverty, many of them, both men and women, 
were obliged to work out in the frontier settlements on Yonge Street 
for the first years after their arrival. Except in the time of the heavy 
frosts of winter, the Holland River and the wide marshes on both sides 
of it were almost impassable. One of the great hardships consisted In 
"backing" in supplies from Newmarket over the wide marsh to their 
dwellings beyond it. Sometimes the river had to be waded with their 
supplies carried on their backs above the water. Such hardships as 
these were all overcome, and the Highlanders and their descendants 
proved to be a valuable acquisition to the population of the county. 
Other settlers of Highland Scotch nativity joined these in the twenties, 
as Hector Grant and Alex. McCausland. 



At this place it will be proper to mention a small group of Irish 
Palatines from County Limerick. Although they arrived in this county 
rather later than the foregoing- groups, nevertheless as a group they 
are deserving of a brief notice. This group of Irish Palatines included 
the families of Robert and Thomas Parker, John Long, Andrew Herri- 
can, Robert Atkins, Georg-e Sparling, and some others. Some of them 
came in or about the year 1831, although a part of them had come as 
early as the year 1826. (C. C. James has told the story of the Pala- 
tines in Ireland and Canada, in the Canadian Methodist Magazine, 
March and April, 1902). 

Robert Parker and his brother, Thomas, settled on lot 10, con. 
8, in 1826. Thomas was captain of the company raised in that neigh- 
borhood at the time of the Rebellion of 1837; he was for some years 
reeve of the township, and was a local preacher in the Methodist de- 
nomination, a church of which was in his neighborhood from 1835 
onward. He lived in this township until 1887, when he moved to 
High Bluff, Manitoba, where he died, Sept. 2gth, 1889, aged 90 years. 

Robert Parker had two sons, both of whom became well-known 
men. Thomas Sutherland Parker became a doctor, and practiced 
medicine in Guelph. He was member of Parliament for one of the 
ridings of Wellington County from 1863 till 1872 (the north riding 
at first, and then the centre riding after the redistribution of seats at 
Confederation). He was one of the fathers of Confederation, and it is 
said that the last speech made in the Parliament of Canada by Thomas 
D'Arcy McGee was in reply to one made by Thomas S. Parker, of 
Wellington. The other son in this family, William Robert Parker, 
entered the Ministry of the Methodist Church in 1860, and was sta- 
tioned in Toronto, Montreal, and many of the larger towns during his 
life, receiving the degree of D.D. in 1885. He was twice president 
of the London Conference, and later president of the Toronto Con- 
ference in 1893-4. 

Farther west in this same group of Palatines, were : 

John Long lot 4 con. 8 

Andrew Herrican lot 6 con. 9 

Robert Atkins lot 5 con. 8 

George Sparling lot 5 con. 7 


Robert Atkins came to Canada from Ireland in 1825, and after 
spending- some time in Toronto with his family came to West Gwil- 
limbury and settled on the farm mentioned, where he died in the 
sixties. His son, Thomas Atkins, was assessor and collector of the 
township for some years, afterward a member of the township council, 
then deputy-reeve in 1866-7, ar >d lastly, reeve in 1870-1-2-3-4. In 
1874, he was appointed Warden of the County. For four years (1880- 
1-2-3) he held the position of county auditor, and when Beeton was 
incorporated as a village, he was its first reeve (1885 and 1886). His 
death occurred in January, 1887, in his b3rd year. 

As an instance of the hardships of the settlers here we may relate 
how Mrs. Kelly, the wife of a pioneer on lot 6, con. 9, got word that 
a letter was waiting for her in the post office at Holland Landing. She 
made ready some butter, carried it all the way to Sloan's store in that 
village ; but when she reached there he told her he had a cow of his 
own and could not dispose of any of that commodity in the place. He, 
however, advised her to go to the Soldiers' Landing, where some men 
were camped, who might want some butter. She did so, disposed 
of her burden for cash, paid the postage on her letter and received it ; 
then travelled to her home, 10 miles distant. 

In the same part of the township several others settled in the early 
period under review, viz., the twenties. These were : 

John Ferris (1823) S. half lot 8, con. 6 

Adam Goodfellow (1823) lot 8, con. 6 

Joseph Hodgson (1822) N. half lot 9, con. 6 

Patrick Kearney (Carney) N. half lot 6, con. 7 

Cornelius Scanlan S. half lot 7, con. 9 

Patrick Scanlan . . (1825) N. half lot 6, con. 9 

West of these, on lot 3, con. 6, on what was called the "Scotch 
Line," Edward Jeffs was among the first to make a home in the bush. 
With his father, Robert Jeffs, and the rest of the family, he had come 
from the County Armagh, Ireland, in 1820, to Penetanguishene, which 
was then just beginning to attract settlers, and he saw something of 
the pioneer life of that northern town. While living there, he was 
employed sometimes to team furs from that post to Toronto for the 
trading firm of Borland & Roe, with whom was associated the Hon. 
Peter Robinson. After spending nine years in the north, sometimes at 
Penetanguishene and sometimes at Wyebridge, where his brother 

Thomas Atkins, West Gwillimbury, Warden, 1874. 

3 (ii) 


3a (n ) 


Robert became one of the first settlers, Edward Jeffs came to West 
Gwillimbury, in 1829, and settled on lot 3, as .mentioned. He soon 
became a progressive farmer, adopting- improvements more quickly 
than most of the farmers of that period. In later years it has become 
the custom with many farmers to have their stables in stone founda- 
tions under their barns. As early as 1834, Edward Jeffs built a barn 
with a stone foundation underneath it, and in 1837 a stone dwelling- 
house. He and Thomas West had a McCormick reaping machine 
(manufactured in New York State), in 1845-7, the ^ rs t reaping ma- 
chine in this county, if not in the province, and the sickle of this 
machine is preserved in the museum of the Ontario Agricultural Col- 
lege at Guelph. Mr. Jeffs' son, Edward, born here in 1837, followed 
in his father's footsteps as a progressive farmer, and represented the 
township for eight years in the County Council. Still further west, 
on lot 2, con. 6, James Landerkin was the first to settle at a compara- 
tively early date. He came from Nova Scotia, and was one of the 
largest men in the township. His son, George, became a doctor, 
settled in Grey County, and in recent years was a Dominion Senator. 

Along the town line, beside Tecumseth, settlers came as soon as 
in the other parts of West Gwillimbury. On the first lot in con. 3, 
John Davis settled in 1824; Andrew Cunningham, a native of Lim- 
erick County, Ireland, settled upon N. half lot i, con. 5, about the 
same time. The latter afterwards became a justice of the peace. 
Joseph Kitley came about the same time to lot 2, con. 3. 

Joel F. Robinson and his brother, Richard, settled at the town 
line in con. 7 about the year 1830. The first named had a store and 
became post master at Bond Head when an office was opened here in 
1837. This village became an important place, especially while the 
Plank Road connected it with Bradford (1851-8). Besides stores, mills, 
tannery, etc., it had a grammar school in those years, and was a centre 
for educational work. In 1835, the Rev. Wm. Eraser, D.D., became 
the pastor of the Presbyterian church, and in the following year the 
Rev. Canon F. L. Osier took charge of the Anglican church, both 
gentlemen remaining- for many years here. One of the earliest repre- 
sentatives of the medical profession at Bond Head was Thomas Homan 
Mulock, M.D., whose son, S'ir William Mulock, is Chief Justice of 
the Exchequer Division. 

Northward from Bond Head, two miles and a half, another village 
arose at an early date, and was known as Latimer's Corners from the 
name of the innkeeper of the place. It was also called Springville. 


but this name did not adhere to it, and it finally appears on the map 
as Newton Robinson. At Newton Robinson settlers arrived almost 
as early as at Bond Head. James Hill settled in Tecumseth here in 
1825, near the edge of the wide swamp northward, over which there 
was a good view. Thomas and Edward Matchett arrived amongst 
the first settlers of the neighborhood and took up lots i and 2 respec- 
tively in the loth concession. Isaiah Rogers came to lot 3, con. 10, 
with his family from King Township in 1827; and John Lee located 
about the same time on lot 3, con. n. 

The first settler north of the "Big Swamp," on the West Gwillim- 
bury lands, was James Kidd, a native of Ireland, who took up lot i, 
con. 14, and became the pioneer of the settlement at Cookstown in 
1825. Mr. Kidd's land extended almost to the north-west corner of 
West Gwillimbury, there being only the "broken front" intervening. 
His three sons were William, James and Daniel, all of whom may be 
called pioneers as well as their father, and his daughter, Margaret, 
became the wife of Henry Morris, of Essa, in 1830. Another daugh- 
ter, Eleanor, married John Ross, J. P. , a pioneer of Tecumseth. 


One of the first settlers north of Bradford, before that town came 
into existence, was William Robinson, who came to Canada from 
King's County, Ireland, in the year 1822, though he was of English 
descent. In the "old country" he had been a lieutenant in the Yeo- 
manry. Soon after reaching Canada, he kept a shoe store in Holland 
Landing for five years. He bought lot 15, con. 8, (a mile north of 
Bradford), 200 acres from the Canada Company, and when his wife, 
with the family, arrived in 1829, from Ireland, they all settled upon 
the land. Their house became the resting place of many travellers 
and early settlers. At the wedding of their daughter, Mary, the set- 
tlers arrived by ox teams ; there were no less than sixteen yoke of 
oxen gathered, and the only horse in the township. Mr. Robinson had 
four sons Gilbert, William, George and David, and three daughters. 
The homestead was the south half, and David, the youngest son, 
afterwards occupied it. When Gilbert, the eldest son, married in 
1835, he settled on the north half of the lot. William, jr., at first 
settled on lot 14 (N. half), con. 4, Innisfil, and afterwards went to the 
"Queen's Bush" when the tide of settlement flowed in that direction. 
Mr. Robinson, sr. , bought lot 22, con. i, Innisfil for George, who was 
accidentally killed by a falling tree in 1843. 


Prince Belfry, who married William Robinson's daughter, Mary, 
settled on the opposite lot, viz., lot 16 (N. half), con. 8, in 1830. Alto- 
gether, there were ten sons in the Belfry family of East Gwillimbury, 
and six daughters; two or three other sons, besides Prince settled 
hereabout, about the same time. The burying-ground on Ira Belfry's 
farm, to the west, was the one Bradford people used at first. 

About the time William Robinson came, Christopher Burns settled 
on lot 15 (S. half), con. 9. 

At an early date, also, two notable settlers took up lots in the 
ninth concession John Thorpe and Mark Scanlon ; the former, S. 
half lot 17, con. 9; the latter, S. half lot 16, con. 9. Both men were 
partly advanced in years when they came, but active. Thorpe, in 
course of time, became crippled with hard work and even palsied ; but 
infirm and palsied though he was, he once shouldered his gun and 
shot a large bear that ventured to trespass on his crops. 

They went into mill operations soon after their arrival, and, in 
accordance with the Government policy of the day to grant mill sites, 
they received grants of land for mills on the stream. They built a grist 
mill in 1824 or 1825 on shares. About the year 1832 they dissolved 
partnership, and Mr. Scanlon, alone, then built a sawmill, and after- 
wards another. The first sawmill was equipped with an old-fashioned 
"gate-saw," which was one of the earliest kinds of saws adapted to 
motive power, the driving power in this case being water power, as 
everywhere else at that time. 

Others thought Thorpe & Scanlon were making money at this 
business, so opposition mills were established on the same stream. 
There were on it as many as six sawmills at one time, owned as fol- 
lows : Mr. Mackie (whose Mill, Mr. Woods ran for a time), Mr. 
Scanlon (two mills), George Thorpe, Enos Rogers, Isaac Rogers (whose 
mill passed into the hands of Zechariah Evans). The railway company 
once established a flag station by the name of Scanlon, where the track 
crosses this useful stream, but afterwards abandoned its use. Mr. 
Scanlon was a native of the County Carlow, Ireland, was made a 
justice of the peace in 1847, and died June 26th, 1871, aged 74 years. 
The Evans family came about the year 1829 to this neighborhood; 
originally from Ireland, but immediately from Yonge Street. In this 
family there were five sons : John, James, George, William and Ar- 
nold, each of them taking up land in this locality. The James Evans 
here mentioned is to be distinguished from a man of the same name 
in Bradford at this time. A son of this settler was George M. Evans, 


who was reeve of West Gwillimbury for some years, and Warden of 
the County in 1883. Zechariah Evans, who was clerk of the township 
for more than 21 years, and who died in 1906, was the third son of this 
James Evans. 

In 1822, John Coulson took up lot 15, con. n, on which he soon 
made a backwoods home for his family. His name, afterwards, was 
given to the "corners" there, and to the hill on the "Main Road," 
where his large conspicuous red house and barn were familiar land- 
marks to the early travellers along- the road. He was a friend of John 
Carruthers, the travelling catechist, who often stayed over night there 
on his northern journeys (as he states in his book), as well as did 
many other early travellers. One of his sons, James, was killed by a 
falling tree in the winter of 1827, leaving a widow and two children. 
In the same year, another son, Robert, received a patent for part of 
lot 13 in the tenth concession. John, the eldest, afterwards lived on 
the original homestead, and William Coulson was a member of the 
first Township Council in West Gwillimbury. 

West of the Coulsons, on lot 13, con. n, the Kneeshaws settled 
early, William Kneeshaw being the head of the family. The settlers 
of this family were Thomas, John and Robert. 

About 1830, James Tindall, a native of Yorkshire, Eng. , settled 
on N. half lot 16, con. 12. He took an active interest in education, 
and was one of the promoters of Ebenezer Methodist church at Deer- 
hurst. His son, William, was an early teacher at the "Hollows," in 
this township, and afterwards became a minister in the Methodist 

Near this place, and about the same time, there came an Irish 
oddity by the name of John Gill, who erected a "Beer Shanty," the 
first of its kind, along the Main Road. He had no wife, but lived 
alone. He was a ventriloquist. In his shanty there was a great old- 
time chimney into which he used to "throw" his voice for the edifica- 
tion of the travellers and loafers staying at his "hotel." He also kept 
the letters for the accommodation of the settlers of this neighborhood 
before a regular post office came into existence. 

Previously to 1825, John Cayton settled on S. half lot 15, con. 
12. He was a well-known figure in the early days, and for some time 
after he arrived he was the northernmost settler. In 1825 a movement 
was on foot among the settlers of the Penetanguishene district to ex- 
tend Yonge Street northward from Cayton 's farm to the head of Kem- 
penfeldt Bay, and thereby complete the overland communication be- 


tween York and Penetang. The contract for the construction of the 
part as far north as the site of Churchill was secured by Cayton, but 
owing- to his slight acquaintance with the forest, he sub-let the work to 
the Warnica brothers, of Innisfil, who had taken the contract of the re- 
mainder, as far as the Bay. 

Another well-known resident of this neighborhood will now come 
under notice, as he settled in '31 or '32- Joseph Fennell, J.P., at 
one time a reeve of the township, and a member of the Council for 
many years. The post office near the town line of Innisfil is named 
after this pioneer. He was a member of the Church of England, and 
was the means of establishing a church at Coulson's Corners, where 
his remains have their resting place. 

About this time three brothers, of the name of Cosgrove, located at 
lot 15, con. 14 William, Archibald and George. The two former had 
wayside taverns on the Main Road. Soon after their arrival a large 
burial pit of the ancient Huron Indians was discovered on the farm of 
William. The discovery of a large number of human skeletons in one 
pit associates itself with war in the minds of those who are unacquainted 
with the Huron mode of burial. Perhaps it was on account of this 
discovery and the popular error with regard to its origin that William 
named his tavern "The Fortune of War," although another account 
states that on the signboard of the inn there was the figure of a man 
with his leg shot off in war. 

At the time of the general influx of settlers in 1832, and after it, 
there came a number of emigrants from England and formed a settle- 
ment in the vicinity of lot 10, con. 12. From the hilly character of 
the neighborhood, the settlement has always borne the name of "The 
Hollows." John Garbutt settled here in 1823. He was one of the 
early magistrates of the township. His children walked daily to 
Churchill school, a distance of 7 miles. 

Nathan Jackson, a native of Yorkshire, England, was another 
early settler at "The Hollows," arriving in 1837 and settling on N. 
half ii, con. 13. He had belonged to the Methodists in Yorkshire, 
and kept up his membership on coming to this country. He died, 
April 28th, 1892, at the advanced age of 91 years. 

Chapter III. 


Tecumseth appears to have excelled all the other townships, so far 
as rapid progress is concerned. Beginning- with 1822, with scarcely a 
single white man within its borders, its population in 1829 had reached 
546, as we learn from a copy of Mackenzie's Colonial Advocate, dated 
April gth, 1829. The rapidity of its development during the succeed- 
ing years is indicated in the following table : 

Year. Population. 

1829 546 

1836 1410 

1842 2 49 T 

1850 3612 

Notwithstanding the rapid settlement of the township, from which 
one would infer that pioneer life there was beset by fewer obstacles, 
the hardships of the first settlers in that township seem to have been 
unusually severe. 

A part of the pioneers in the extreme south east of Tecumseth 
came from the North of Ireland. A partial list of these early settlers 
in the south east, mostly in the early twenties, is here given : 

Robert Clark, (1825), lot 23, con. 2. 
Gilbert Coffey, (1825), lot 21, con. 4. 
John Coffey, (1825), lot 22, con. 4. 
James Manning, (1819), lot 24, con. 5. 
Joseph Walker, (1827), lot 21, con. 3. 

This group of pioneers mostly came by way of King Township, 
and settled, as we see, in the corner adjacent to that township, and in 
the vicinity of Dunkerron. They had very hard times after their ar- 
rival, not only in getting their first crops harvested, but in finding a 
market for the grain. It was related that Robert Clark, who was the 
first person to bring a wagon into Tecumseth, could neither get money 
nor tea for the first produce of his fields. "Tea was a cash article in 
those days, and though Clark offered the merchant as much wheat as 



he chose to take for a pound, he could not get it. The best he could 
do was to trade his load for dear calico and earthenware, at the rate 
of fifty cents per bushel. He drew to Little York, a distance of at 
least thirty miles, five barrels of flour; but all he could get for it was 
$2.50, half cash and half 'trade,' with the understanding that he was 
to have one barrel of salt for one barrel of flour." 

James Manning-, sr. , named on the above list, was indeed one of 
the very first to settle in the township. He died Dec. igth, 1866, aged 
90 years. 

Joseph Walker was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, and came 
with his brothers and sisters early in the twenties to the new settle- 
ments in West Gwillimbury and Tecumseth. In 1849, or the following- 
year, he moved west to the Township of Brant, Bruce County, and 
pursued his vocation of milling at the present site of the town of Walk- 
erton, the town being named after him. Sketches of this useful pioneer 
are in Belden's Atlas of Simcoe County, and in Norman Robertson's 
History of Bruce County, with a portrait in each. 

A few from other countries settled amongst these Irish residents 
in the early years, of whom were the following : 

Henry Dean, lot 22, con. 2. 
Jeremiah Lundy, (1822), lot 19, con. i. 
Henry Nolan, (1829), lot 23, con. 2. 
Peter Doyle, (1829), lot 24, con. 3. 

Henry Nolan and his wife were both of good Quaker stock. Their 
son,' George A. Nolan, of Tottenham, was reeve of the township for 
four years 1870-73. He was again reeve in 1881-2-3, and on the 
incorporation of Tottenham as a village he was elected as its first 
reeve in January, 1885, but resigned the position a few months later. 

Peter Doyle, also named in this list, was the first to settle 
in his neighborhood. He was a Quaker, and he made the first waggons 
in the neighborhood. 

One of the first persons to settle in the township was Andrew 
Carswell. The travelling catechist, John Carruthers, relates in his 
Retrospect (page 232), that Mr. Carswell and some others opened the 
forest here in 1819. At any rate, he received the patent for the north 
part of lot 24, con. 4, as early as June 2ist, 1823. They had come in 
by way of the settlements of West Gwillimbury, adjoining them. 

A member of this family, John Carswell, settled farther north, 
near Bond Head. In the early days, his house was used as a place 


for preaching- by the Presbyterians. He was one of the Home District 
Councillors for Tecumseth in 1842. and in the following' year repre- 
sented the township in the Simcoe District Council. 

It is worthy of notice that the first distinct influx of settlers into 
this township, came in or about the year 1825, and most of those 
settled in this southeast quarter of the township. Among- the names 
of settlers entering or taking- up lands before this period, not already 
mentioned, we find that of John Connor (1822) who took up lot 19, 
con. i, and that of William Walker, (1821) on lot 15, con. i. 

The Hawke family were amongst the earliest settlers in this south- 
east corner of the township. Benjamin Hawke, the head of the family, 
came to Yonge Street from Pennsylvania about the year 1811, his wife 
being a sister of Samuel Lount, who was executed after the Rebellion. 
During the war of 1812-15, Mr. Hawke was the contractor for hauling 
the cannons and supplies passing through Holland Landing, and across 
the portage from the Head of Kempenfeldt Bay to the Nottawasaga 
River. His sons, along with himself, settled in King and Tecumseth 
Townships in the twenties, when the parts around Lloydtown and 
Schomberg were opening for settlement. He was one of the candi- 
dates to represent the County of Simcoe at the election for the Assembly 
in 1834, but was not successful. He was appointed a justice of the 
peace in 1843. He was lame, and in his day had a full share of the 
rugged experiences of frontier and pioneer life. Periphen Hawke 
was taken prisoner during the Rebellion disturbances of 1837, and, 
after five months' imprisonment, was pardoned, according to the list 
of persons arrested appearing in Lindsay's Life of W. L. Mackenzie. 
And it is said that Gabriel Hawke, of Tecumseth, was also taken 
prisoner during the Rebellion, although his name does not appear in 
that list. Gabriel was a large, powerful man, and well-known in the 
early days of the Township of Tecumseth. Some part of the Hawke 
family moved to the Township of Wellesley, County of Waterloo, 
where the village of Hawkesville is named after them. 

Farther north, in the vicinity of Bond Head, and northward, the 
settlers were of different types, and less uniformly of one nationality 
than in some other parts, though there was also here a large sprinkling 
of North of Ireland people. Chief amongst the earliest in this centra? 
part of the township were : 

James Armstrong, (1825), lot 22, con. 7. 
Richard Batters, lot 21, con. 6. 


Richard Callaghan, (1825), lot 24, con. 9. 
Georg-e Clunis, (1825), lot 19, con. 6. 
Adam Graham, (1821), lot 24, con. 8. 
James Hill, (1825), lot 24, con. n. 
William Mares, (1827), lot 22, con. 9. 
James McDermott, (1825), lot 18, con. 8. 
Edward Rorke, (1824), lot 15, con. 7. 
Henry Willoughby, lot 24, con. 8. 

George Ramsay was amongst the first to arrive, having come in 
1822, and taken up lot 19, con. 8; although, being a bachelor, he did 
not settle upon his land until 1825, hiring others in the meantime 1o 
make a clearance on it. In that year he married, and with his young 
wife repaired to his home in the backwoods, taking along with his 
household outfit a small coffee mill. He was an early magistrate, and 
it was "Squire" Ramsay who married Henry Morris and Margaret 
Kidd of Essa, this being the first marriage in the settlement. During 
some seasons of the year the Holland River was so swollen with floods 
that it was impossible for the Tecumseth settlers to cross it on their 
way with grists to Newmarket, where was the nearest mill. At such 
times Ramsay's little coffee mill was in great demand, and it is said 
that people came for several miles to grind a few quarts of grain, in 
order to ward off starvation while the floods lasted. Mr. Ramsay also 
taught the school in Section No. n for some years in the forties and 
fifties. He was a native of the County Tyrone, Ireland, and died 
November loth, 1865, aged 69 years and two months. 

The original settler in the northern part of Tecumseth was Thomas 
Cooke, whose name (on lot 24, con. 14), is remembered in connection 
with Cookstown. But settlers located in the north rather slowly, 
chiefly on account of the "Big S'wamp," which shut them off from com- 
munication with the south, and also because the Government Road 
from Bradford westward, drew the traffic into the central and southern 
parts. Mr. Cooke was a native of County Leitrim, Ireland, and had 
advanced far enough with his affairs to raise a house on his land in 
1833, across the road from James Kidd (in West Gwillimbury), who 
was the pioneer of this locality. Mr. Cooke 's sons may be classed as 
early settlers, as well as himself, viz., James, Christopher, Thomas and 


Hiram Bigelow received a patent for lot 12, con. 6, as early as 
1823, and became one of the first settlers of this township. After- 
wards, he started the first grist mill in the township, in 1832, or 
earlier, on lot 20, con. 9, on the stream a mile west of Newton Rob- 
inson. Like all the other mills of that early day, it was turned by 

Key to the County Council Group for 1885. 

i. R. Paton (Warden), Reeve, Sunnidale. 

.2. J. McAfee, Deputy-Reeve, West Gwillimbury. 

3. A. B. McPhee, County Auditor. 

4. C. H. Ross, Reeve, Barrie. 

5. D. Dunn, (ex-Warden), Reeve, Essa. 

6. S. M. Sanford, County Treasurer, Barrie. 

7. J. B. Horrell, Reeve, Midland. 

8. S. Frazer, Reeve, Tay. 

9. D. Loftus, Deputy-Reeve, Flos. 

10. J. Beardsley, Messenger, Barrie. 

11. P. H. Stewart, County Auditor. 

12. G. Moberly, Reeve, Collingwood. 

13. J. T. Harvie, Reeve, Gravenhurst. 

14. S. J. Reed, Deputy-Reeve, Innisfil. 

15. J. Quinn, (ex- Warden), Reeve, Orillia Town. 

1 6. W. J. Beatty, Deputy-Reeve, Tay. 

17. W. Wright, Reeve, Alliston. 

18. J. Gallagher, Reeve, Tosorontio. 

19. J. Kelly, Reeve, Adjala. 

20. P. O'Connor, Deputy-Reeve, Medonte. 

21. W. LeCamp, Deputy-Reeve, Tiny. 

22. A. Wiancko, Reeve, Morrison. 

23. A. Thomson, Reeve, Orillia and Matchedash. 

24. P. Small, Deputy-Reeve, Adjala. 

25. Jas. Ross, Deputy-Reeve, Oro. 

26. A. H. Smith, Reeve, Monck. 

27. G. P. McKay, M.P.P., Reeve, Innisfil. 

28. W. S'witzer, Deputy-Reeve, Sunnidale. 

29. Nelson McRae, Reeve, Tiny. 

30. Thos. Pearcy, 2nd Deputy-Reeve, Barrie. 

31. S. Rogers, 2nd Deputy-Reeve, Essa. 

32. John Ross, i?t Deputy-Reeve, Innisfil. 

The Simcoe County Council of 1885. 



water power, there being- no steam mills at the time. It had wooden 
wheels, and its remains were to be seen at the place until recent years. 
Mr. Bigelow had built a sawmill here before he built the grist mill. 
Some part of the "race" to carry water for the wheel, he made (if 
scooped logs, about a quarter of a mile long-, or nearly. His son, 

33. H. W. Manning, Reeve, Bradford. 

34. Jas. Hamilton, ist Deputy-Reeve, Nottawasaga. 

35. A. Suffern, Reeve, Watt. 

36. J. M. Tasker, Reeve, Reay. 

37. Rev. Thos. McKee, P. S. I., South Simcoe. 

38. A. Nicol, Reeve, Stayner. 

39. C. Robertson, Reeve, Cardwell. 

40. Lt.-Col. R. T. Banting, County Clerk. 

41. Geo. M. Evans, (ex-Warden), Reeve, West Gwillimbury. 

42. J. F. Lyons, ist Deputy-Reeve, Essa. 

43. Jonathan Sissons, Reeve, Vespra. 

44. Wm. McDermott, (ex-Warden), Reeve, Tecumseth. 

45. R. Calhoun, 2nd Deputy-Reeve, Tecumseth. 

46. J. Leach, 3rd Deputy-Reeve, Nottawasaga. 

47. Arthur Craig, Reeve, Medonte. 

48. C. Harvie, Deputy-Reeve, Orillia and Matchedash. 

49. A. S. Kirkland, Reeve, Nottawasaga. 

50. T. Scott, Reeve, Humphrey. 

51. N. E. Greenaway, Reeve, Tosorontio. 

52. J. Nettleton, Deputy-Reeve, Collingwood. 

53. C. Cooke, (ex-Warden), ist Deputy-Reeve, Tecumseth. 

54. E. Cox, Reeve, Wood and Medora. 

55. J. B. Thompson, Deputy-Reeve, Orillia Town. 

56. J. C. Morgan, P. S'. I., North Simcoe. 

57. J. Dickinson, ist Deputy-Reeve, Barrie. 

58. W. Millie, 2nd Deputy-Reeve, Nottawasaga. 

59. Dr. P. H. Spohn, Reeve, Penetanguishene. 

60. C. Drury, M.P.P., Reeve, Oro. 

61. A. Finlay, Deputy-Reeve, Vespra. 

62. O. J. Phelps, M.P.P., (ex- Warden), Reeve, Flos. 

This is said to be the first group photo ever taken of a Simcoe 
County Council, the photographer being G. E. Whiten, of Orillia, 
The group contains, besides the warden of that year, the portraits 
of six ex- wardens, and five others who afterward occupied the 
warden's chair, making a dozen wardens at one time or another. 


Nelson Gordon Bigelow, became a prominent lawyer in Toronto, and 
was at one time member of the Ontario Legislature for the city. 

William Monkman, a native of Lancashire, Eng. , settled in 1819 
or early in the twenties on the S. half, lot 17, con. 3. His wife, Han- 
nah Dale, was a native of Yorkshire. He prospered, and in course 
of time became the owner of 300 acres. He is best remembered as the 
founder of "Monkman 's Meeting-house," the Methodist church at this 
place. As early as 1828, a travelling- Methodist missionary, Rev. John 
Black, held services in his house, as we learn from Carroll's work on 
Case and his Contemporaries, (III., 200). He had a family of 
three sons and six daughters. The sons were : George, who died in 
1846; John and Lawrence, both of whom moved to Garafraxa Town- 
ship. His daughter, S'arah, was the wife of Thomas Gamble, J.P., a 
well-known resident of the township in later years. 

In this part of the township, also, Gilbert Williams was one of 
the earliest settlers, on lot 15, con. 2. He died Feb. nth, 1865, at the 
age of 88 years. Joseph Hollingshead received a patent for lot 13, 
con. 4, in April, 1822, and his son, William, was a resident on this 
land for many years. He died March 24th, 1890, in his 8/th year. 
About the same time as the others, in this early group of 1822 or the 
next year, was William Rogers, who settled on lot 12, con. 2. He was, 
like a number of his neighbors, a native of England. 

A little further west than the Monkman settlement, towards the 
centre of the township, in the first four concessions (especially in con- 
cessions one and two), several families of Irish Catholics settled among 
the rest. In course of time these established a Catholic Church, with 
presbytery and burying-ground, on the second line at lot 14. 


At Penville, Adna Penfield, a native of Connecticut, was one of the 
first settlers, his land being lot 18, con. 4. Jesse Mills, a shoemaker, 
was also a settler of long standing. A village sprang up here at an 
early date, and a cross road, for the convenience of the settlers, was 
opened through six concessions, traversing the village in its course. 
It became an important centre soon after the settlement of this neigh- 
borhood. In 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie held one of his meetings 
at Penville, and there was the usual excitement, but this did not 
prove to be one of the most seditious quarters in that stirring timr. 
Sir Francis Bond Head has had but few admirers even among loyalists, 


yet the only place in Canada bearing- his name as a memorial is to 
be found in this vicinity the neighboring- village of Bond Head, thus 
bearing- witness to the ultra-loyal and satisfied condition of the 
inhabitants generally. In later years, the municipal council erected 
a Township Hall at Penville, and it thus became the "capital." When 
the railway passed up the valley through Tottenham and Beeton in 
1877, Penville waned, and lost the importance it had in the earlier 
years. In this neighborhood there were some good forests of white 
oak, which is one of the most valuable trees for timber on this con- 

In the neighborhood of Penville, a few others settled in the early 
years to which we are referring : 

James Coady, (1823), lot 14, con. 7. 
John Milligan, (1825), lot 14, con. 5. 
John McDermott, (1825), lot 15, con. 6. 
Daniel McCurdy, lot 13, con. 5. 

The last named of these pioneers reached the century mark, having 
died June 3rd, 1878, aged 100 years, 5 months and 17 days. He was 
a native of the County Antrim, Ireland. 

James Ellison came from the North of Ireland and settled on 
lot 8, con. 2, in 1822, or soon afterwards. Early in the thirties be- 
fore any church had arisen in the settlement, the house of Mr. Ellison 
was used as a Presbyterian place of worship, and a cemetery was 
started in the neighborhood, on lot 7 on the third line, in 1837 or 
earlier. The members and adherents of this preaching appointment 
built a log church at the place late in the thirties, and a manse was 
also added in course of time. Mr. Ellison had only one son, William. 
Two of his grandsons entered the Presbyterian ministry in the Ham- 
ilton Synod. Mr. Ellison died March 7th, 1880, aged 93 years. 

Before the Rebellion, John Pearcey had settled on lot 10, con. 2. 
He had come from the North of Ireland, like nearly all the other set- 
tlers in the same neighborhood. He died October gth, 1868, in his 
64th year. Beside him on a part of the same lot settled John Fleming 
about the same time, who survived till January i5th, 1891, reaching 
the age of 75 years. James Milligan had arrived in this neighbor- 
hood in 1825, if not before. He is recorded for lot 9, con. 2, but 
always lived, in subsequent years at any rate, on S. half lot 9, con. 
4 (ii) 


3. Other early settlers in this locality, with their approximate dates 
of settlement, were : 

Owen Casey, (1825), lot 6, con. 2. 
Willam Hamner, (1824), lot 6, con. i. 
Thos. McGoey, (1825), lot 7, con. i. 

To the northward of the last group of settlers a few others estab- 
lished themselves early in the twenties. Robert Martin came in 1822 
and settled on the fourth line, his land being- recorded as lot 9, con. 

4. He received a patent for N. half lot 8, con 3, April 28th, 
1825. On the fifth line he had a small mill, with turning lathe, in the 
forties and fifties. After passing through the usual hardships, he 
reached a mature age, and died December 2gth, 1867, aged 72 years. 


James M. Tegart arrived in 1823 and took up lot 8, con. 4. It 
is recorded that when he had cleared three acres of his land he found 
his cash almost at an end, and had to go to the frontier settlements 
and hire out for three months in order to raise some ready money. 
He got $24, or six pounds, for wages, and with this sum he pur- 
chased a cow, a spinning wheel for his wife, and some flax. With the 
wheel, his wife spun enough in six weeks to purchase another cow. 
Such were some of the hardships of Tecumseth pioneers. As early 
as 1828, Mr. Black, a travelling missionary of the Methodist church, 
held services in Mr. Tegart 's house (Carroll's Case and his Contem- 
poraries, III., 200), and about the same time a cemetery was started 
at this place, and has become the burial place of many old settlers, 
and the one now chiefly used by the inhabitants of Tottenham, a mile 
west of the place. Mr. Tegart died March 7th, 1881, aged 80 years 
6 months. 

In 1825, Hugh Semple, a native of Scotland, settled on the 
next land westward, lot 7, con. 4, and spent his lifetime in this locality. 
He died October 2nd, 1882, aged 72 years. His eldest son, Andrew 
Semple moved to Garafraxa in the pioneer days of that township, and 
subsequently became member of the Dominion House of Commons for 
Centre Wellington during three parliaments (1887 to 1900). 

James White, a native of County Down, Ireland, settled on lot 
8, con. 3, at an early date. Mr. White died October 3rd, 1846, aged 
52 years. 

4a (11) 


John Totten secured a patent for the south-west quarter of lot 
S, con. 2, in 1825. Alexander Totten, a member of this man's family, 
started a store on lot 6, con. 3, in 1835 or 1836 (before the Rebellion). 
They were natives of the County Armagh, Ireland. In 1840, Alex, 
took to wife, Isabella, daughter of John Willoughby, of Newton Rob- 
inson, and this couple lived here more than fifty years. Beside them 
a village grew up, and when a post office was opened here in 1858, the 
name Tottenham was given to it out of compliment to the pioneer 
of the locality. 

When the question of incorporating Tottenham as a village came 
before the County Council in June, 1884, John Thomas Smyth was 
appointed enumerator for taking the census of the village. He found 
the proposed limits contained 792 inhabitants and the council incor- 
porated it with George P. Hughes as the first returning-officer. The 
first reeve elected was George A. Nolan (1885). 


The first settlers near Beeton were William Hammill, Frederick 
S. Stephens, John Nelson and Selby Evans, all of whom settled be- 
fore 1836. Mr. Hammill was one of the two Home District Councillors 
for Tecumseth in 1842, John Carswell being the other. The date of 
Mr. Hammill's arrival is given as 1827. He died March ist, 1854, 
aged 82 years. Mr. Stephens was a magistrate prior to 1836, and 
also served his township as District Councillor in 1847-8. At a later 
time the village itself sprang up. Robert Clark, having purchased 
some portion of the land here in 1852, on which were two or three 
vacant buildings a log tavern, and a small house and shop took 
up his trade as blacksmith, and also started business as a gunsmith, 
though the forest covered much of the land about him. He sold off 
parts of his land as building lots whenever an occasion arose, and 
the place in course of time began to take on some appearances of a 
small village. It was first called Clarksville, then Tecumseth, after 
the Tecumseth post office was moved to the place in 1860. A post 
office in Essex County received also the name Tecumseth, and this led 
immediately to what might be expected, viz,, the mail matter for both 
offices going astray and getting confused. As an alternative the name 
Beeton was suggested as a suitable change for this office, on account 
of the bee trade of D. A. Jones, who was then postmaster, and it 
was adopted in 1878. The County Council purchased the south part 


of lot n, con. 8, near this place, for an Industrial Farm, and built 
the House of Refuge on it in 1898. 

The incorporation of Beeton, as a village, came up at the session 
of the County Council in June, 1884. The Council appointed Thomas 
Atkins enumerator for taking the census of the village, which he 
found, within the proposed limits, to contain 781 inhabitants, and 
the Council incorporated it, W. H. Dickson being appointed the first 
returning officer. Thomas Atkins was elected as the first reeve of the 
village, but some inhabitants (Mr. Fenton and others) threatened suit 
against the county to set aside the By-law of Incorporation. The 
matter was taken into the courts, and the case of Fenton vs. County 
Simcoe was a topic in the newspapers of the day. Chief Justice 
Wilson quashed the By-law (No. 379), and his decision extends over 
a number of pages in volume 10 of the Ontario Law Reports, but 
there was an appeal from his decision, and the case entered in the 
Court of Appeal. In the meantime (January, 1886), the County Coun- 
cil asked the Legislature by memorial to pass an Act to confirm and 
legalize By-law No 379, and the Legislature passed an Act for the 
purpose, as 49 Viet., Chap. 51 (1886), which closed the matter in 

Patrick Hughes, a native of the County Armagh, Ireland, took 
up lot 6, concessions 6 and 7, in 1832. He was a pensioned soldier, 
and had served through the Peninsular war, having been wounded at 
the Battle of Vittoria, 1813. His wife was a Portuguese, a native of 
Lisbon. Mr. Hughes died in 1872, aged 87 years. His son, George 
P. Hughes, is also to be classed in the roll of pioneers, having been 
born on the Tecumseth homestead in November, 1834. He became one 
of the early merchants at Keenansville, where he established a local 
newspaper (called the Simcoe Observer), as early as 1865, and was 
also postmaster and magistrate. Some time after the opening of the 
Hamilton Railway through Tecumseth (viz., in 1882), he moved to 
Tottenham, where he carried on a banking business, and also the 
Sentinel newspaper, this being the name he gave the Observer after 
its third year. 

Another notable pioneer in this part of the township was John C. 
Colgan, who settled on lot i, con. 5, in 1828, or very soon afterwards. 
Across the town line from his home, the first Catholic Church of St. 
James was erected in 1833, and a small village grew up here, to which 
was given the name of "Colgan." This pioneer will be remembered 


as the Poet "Pagan," the name he signed to his poetical effusions 
which used to appear in local newspapers. A volume of his poems 
was printed in Toronto in 1873, written during the preceeding thirty 
years. They were mostly of local interest ; the titles of the pieces, and 
many references throughout them, recall scenes and events of bygone 
times in Tecumseth and Adjala. 

Chapter IV. 

As in the other parts of this county, settlement in what people 
formerly called the wilds of Adjala began at the south end of the 
township. The first to arrive in the south east came by way of Albion 
and King Townships in the twenties. Among these first arrivals were 
the following : 

James Cosgrave, con. 7, lot i. 
James Marshall, con. 5, lot 3. 
Albert Marshall, con. 5, lot 4. 
Felix Murphy, con. 5, lot 6. 
Patrick Ryan, con. 6, lot 4. 
Daniel Spillane, con. 7, lot 4. 

The village of Ballycroy took its rise at an early date in the same 
neighborhood where the above-mentioned settlers had been amongst 
the first to take up lands. 

A serious fire occurred in Ballycroy in 1875, in which three young 
women met their death. A marble headstone in the graveyard of St. 
James' Church, four miles north, recalls the event with this inscrip- 
tion : "To the memories of Mary A. Fanning, aged 32 years; Mar- 
garet H. Daley, aged 24 years, and Bridget Burke, aged 28 years, 
who perished in the conflagration which, on April 2gth, 1875, destroyed 
the village of Ballycroy, this monument is raised by their afflicted rela- 
tives in grateful recollection of their estimable qualities and early 
.lives." These young women were milliners in the store of Peter 
Small, which was one of the buildings destroyed. 

Near this place, the Humber River, which takes its rise in this 
county, passes from it into the adjoining County of Peel. 

In the south west, in the vicinity of Mono Mills, a few settlers 
arrived about the year 1820, and within the next few years the follow- 
ing took up lots in the adjacent parts of Adjala : 

John Cobean, con. 3, lot 3. 
Jones Hall, con. 3, lot 6. 
James Darraugh, con. 2, lot 5. 
Stewart Mason, con. 2, lot i. 
James McKenna, con 3, lot 7. 


George McManus, Mono Mills, Warden, 1859. 


AD JALA. 49 

The first named, John Cobean, was the constable of his neigh- 
borhood in the early years, having- been appointed to that office in 
1836 or perhaps earlier. 

A sad misfortune overtook the family of the second person (Jones 
Hall) named on the above list in the early years of the settlement. He 
sent his son, Joseph, a young man, for a froe (a tool used by the 
pioneers for splitting shingles), to a settler's in a part of the adjoining 
Township of Tecumseth, near the eighth and town line corner. Joseph 
lost his way in the forest and did not return home at night as his 
father expected. Next day the father called out the settlers to search 
for him. Many turned out to give help, and one of them, James M. 
Tegart, of Tecumseth, came upon his lifeless body lying in the woods; 
he had perhaps died through fear or exhaustion. They brought his 
remains to the house of one of the Tecumseth settlers, Mr. White, and 
buried him in front of Mr. Tegart 's farm. This became the first 
burial in the cemetery a mile east of Tottenham ; other graves soon 
were added, and a regular graveyard began. This was more than 
eighty years ago, and he was perhaps the first white man who died 
in Tecumseth. No stone marks his resting place, but settlers of the 
locality for many years lamented the untimely end of poor Joseph Hall. 

The last named person on the above list, James McKenna, died 
May i2th, 1885, aged 89 years. 

To the northward of the Ballycroy settlers, a few others arrived 
about the year 1828. Among these were : 

John Headon, con. 7, lot 10. 
Harvey Huntley, con. 7, lot 14. 
Owen Keough, con. 5, lot 10. 
Henry McCullough, Con. 7, lot u. 
Patrick Patton, con. 6, lot 9. 
Daniel Small, con. 7, lot 10. 

James Hart, who took up lot 8 in the 7th concession, was also 
one of the early settlers in this neighborhood, his house being about 
two miles from Keenansville. From an early year he was Township 
Clerk until his death, which occurred February gth, 1869, at the age 
of 48 years. 

At Keenansville, which took its rise on Bailey's Creek at an early 
period, as there was good water power on the stream, Harvey Huntley 
was said to be the first settler, having arrived about 1828, and took 
up the east half of lot 14 in the seventh. 


Owen Keough was a native of County Caven, Ireland, and reached 
a ripe age, his death having occurred April 2nd, 1876, at the age of 
96 years. 

Henry McCullough, the fourth on this list, was District Councillor 
for Adjala in 1842-3. 

Patrick Patton, the next on the list, was Division Court Clerk 
for a time, and otherwise took part in the public affairs of the township. 

Daniel Small was one of the first settlers, a patent for the lot 
above mentioned having been issued in the name of his brother, James, 
in 1828. He hewed out a home for himself and children ; and near 
the same place he breathed his last, September 5th, 1890, at the ad- 
vanced age of 98 years. Peter Small, his son, became a merchant in 
Ballycroy, and reeve of Adjala for nine years (1867-1875). Afterwards 
he resided in Toronto, where he was bailiff of the Division Court. 
Another son, Patrick, was also a member of the Township Council on 
different occasions. 

James Duross (lot 12, con. 8), one of the pioneers, lived to be 
113 years of age, having survived until May i5th, 1896. The reader 
may observe, from these notes on the Irish pioneers of Adjala, how 
many of them reached great ages in the case of Mr. Duross, far be- 
yond the century mark, and many other cases nearly the century. 
Whatever the cause, the facts show great strength of nerve and con- 
stitution on the parts of these Irish pioneers. 

James Hamilton, with his sons, Alexander, Thomas and John, 
settled early on lot 10, con. 6. This was a Presbyterian family, there 
being a few such mixed among the Irish Catholics who formed the 
majority of the settlers in this locality. Mr. Hamilton, sr. , died April 
i2th, 1858, aged 80 years, and was interred in the family plot in the 
cemetery on the third line of Tecumseth, where they attended church. 

Luke Harcourt, an Irish Catholic, also settled in this neighbor- 
hood at an early date. He received a patent for lot 7, con. 8, in 
April, 1835, but appears to have lived at Keenansville from the earliest 
years of that village, and worked at his trade of shoemaker, being, 
like most shoemakers, not blessed with a large amount of this world's 
goods. He subsequently moved to the frontier part of this province. 
Hon. Richard Harcourt, of Welland, Ont., is a grandson of this 

Besides the main stream of the Nottawasaga, which passes in a 
northeasterly direction across the township, another branch parallel 
with the river itself, and crossing the township at a more southerly 


part, was sometimes known as Bailey's Creek. This made an ob- 
struction for settlers, the earliest and most numerous settlements being 
south of it. It was not easy to make roads across Bailey's Creek, or 
in its neighborhood, during the early years ; accordingly, in 1843, the 
District Council of Simcoe expended money for a "trespass" road 

As early as the year 1828, some settlers had begun to take up 
lots in the good lands just north of Bailey's Creek. Among these 
were the families of Connors, Kelly and Keenan. It was from the last 
family that the village of Keenansville had its name. Robert Keenan 
was District Councillor (1846-9), and reeve of Adjala, (1857), for 
twelve years altogether. He died January loth, 1903, aged 83 years. 

Keran Egan, a native of King's County, Ireland, took up the E 
half of lot 13, con. 6, in 1829. He had a bed of hemlock boughs for a 
time, while he prepared a more substantial shelter. He spent his 
long lifetime near Keenansville, on the place where he first settled, and 
died January 25th, 1890, aged 95 years. Two brothers of his were 
also early settlers in the same neighborhood. 

Hugh Kelly, a native of County Carlow, Ireland, took up the east 
half of lot 14, con. 5, in 1828, or the following year, and was a life- 
long resident in this locality. 

About the same time as the preceding, two pioneers took up lot 
14, con. 4, viz., Patrick Feheley, on the west half, and Andrew Gould- 
ing on the east half. 

Thomas Hollend and his son 'Felix also settled near Keenansville 
(on lot 12, con. 7), in the same period. 

Michael Haffey settled upon the west half lot 14, con. 5, at this 
early period. On the opposite lot in con. 6, where John Haffey lived 
at a later time, Henry J. Peck, of Stanley, N. Y., found, in 1887, parts 
of the skeleton of a mammoth. This is the only instance known of 
mammoth bones having been found in S'imcoe County, One of the 
molars is in Elmira College, N. Y. The other bones are in the Geo- 
logical Museum of Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. 

On the lot south of Haffey, George Kidd settled during this first 
arrival of settlers, and here arose the village of Athlone. 

Farther west, on lot 10, con. i, James Flynn settled at this time. 
He was an assessor of the township for some years, until he moved to 
the United States. 

In "North Adjala," which is the part of the township north of the 
wide swamp of the Nottawasaga River, a settlement was made very 


soon after the southerly parts. Among- the first settlers in this part 
were the following- : 

William Cassidy, con. i, lot 29. 
Matthew Con way, con. 3, lot 28. 
Michael Healey, con. 5, lot 29. 
John Hoey, con. 4, lot 32. 
Thomas Irwin, con. 4, lot 31. 
Thomas Langley, con. 4, lot 29. 
John Reilly, con. 6, lot 30. 
William Ryan, con. 5, lot 26. 

The first named on this list received a patent for his land in 1821, 
but did not actually settle so early. 

Chapter V. 


Before 1830 a few families had taken up farms, and were al- 
ready making their first clearings. To notice the more conspicuous, 
at least, of these settlers, and to review the most notable incidents of 
their first years in the forest, the plan proposed is to begin at the 
southern extremity of the township and proceed northward along the 
Penetanguishene Road, making short digressions here and there into 
the various intersecting concessions, wherever a particular individual 
or event of notoriety should be recalled. 

Lewis J. Clement, a "Dutch-Canadian," arrived upon N. half 16, 
con. i, from Niagara, in June, 1829, with his wife, one child, a hired 
man, and a yoke of oxen. He built a temporary brush tent, which 
was by them called "home," for a brief period, until a more sub- 
stantial and commodious dwelling place could be erected. Clement's 
house, built by the carpenter, James Soules, was the first frame house 
in Innisfil, and is still standing. In subsequent years, Mr. Clement 
became a magistrate. He died April gth, 1873, in his 74th year. A 
large family then survived him, of whom the best known, perhaps, 
were Dr. Lewis Clement, of Bradford, and Stephen Clement, who was 
for a time deputy-sheriff of this county, under Sheriff Smith, and who 
afterwards became sheriff of Shoal Lake District, at Birtle, in Manitoba. 

Robert McLean, an Irish soldier settled upon lot 17, con. 2, in i 
May, 1829, a month earlier than Clement. Dugald McLean, a son 
of this pioneer, and John Lawrie, jr., were the sawyers of the settle- 
ment, and they were drowned about 1840 off De Grassi Point. Both 
McLean and wife died from an attack during an epidemic of cholera, 
which carried off numerous settlers in that section in September, 1849. 

Another notable pioneer, though not one of the earliest, was Charles 
Willson, (S. half 15, con. 2), who arrived and settled in 1833. In com- 
pany with the Maconchy brothers, of lot 15, con. 5, he came from the 
North of Ireland, (Tyrone or Derry), and to a member of that family 
he became married. He was one of the three Wardens of Innisfil for 
the year 1841, before a Township Council was organized, and filled 



other important positions, at different times. But in 1850 he removed 
to Tecumseth. 

On a corner of his farm, Robert Laird, who had settled at an 
early date, opened a store about 1835 the first store in Innisfil. This 
was the nucleus of Cherry Creek. 

James Rogerson (N. half 19, con. 2), a native of Scotland, arrived 
in 1833. Of his family, which was large, several members of it be- 
came residents of this neighborhood. 

Alfred Willson, the son of a U.K. Loyalist, came from Holland 
Landing after the Rebellion and took up the north half, lot 16, con. 
2, at Cherry Creek. He was the representative of Innisfil at the meet- 
ing's of the Simcoe District Council from 1843 until 1849, both years 
inclusive. He also contested this county in December, 1851, with the 
Hon. W. B. Robins-on, but was not successful. Some time later he 
moved to Bell Ewart, where he lived until his death, in 1888, at the 
age of 77 years. 

Hiram Willson, his brother, with two sons, Lambert and Welling- 
ton, came from Sharon, in York County, later, and purchased S. half, 
lot 16, con. 3, near Cherry Creek, also becoming settlers of long 


Innisfil, like West Gwillimbury, had its "Scotch Settlement," but 
the group of settlers which it comprised came from another quarter, 
and at a later date the autumn of 1832. We turn off the main Road 
now to notice this group of interesting pioneers. Previous to that 
year they had settled in the Township of Dalhousie, Lanark County, 
but finding its rocky surface anything but a congenial dwelling place, 
and seeing no prospects of making a permanent home there, they 
deserted in a body and settled in the south-east of Innisfil. 

Their native place was Glasgow and its vicinity, where some of 
them had belonged to the recalcitrant brotherhood of Glasgow weavers, 
so notorious in British history. They had left Scotland at the time of 
the intense public excitement preceding the passing of the Reform 
Bill. Most of them had taken part in the agitation ; and, like the 
Pilgrim Fathers of an earlier time, they preferred to live beyond the 
sea rather than endure the grievances of their native land. Most of 
them, too, were platform orators, and enthusiastic Reformers, which 

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their descendants are to this day. The individuals who, with their fami- 
lies, composed this interesting group of settlers were : 

John Lawrie, N. half 17, con. 2. 
Rev. John Climie, S. half 17, con. 2. 
John Todd, S. half 19, con. 2. 
Hugh Todd, N. half 12, con. 5. 
Gavin Allan, 15, con. 5. 
Robert Wallace, S. half 22, con. 5. 
William Duncan, S. half 18, con. 6. 
William Cross, 20, con. 6. 
James Jack, N. half 21, con. 5. 

They settled closely together ; and this circumstance, together with 
the fact that a number of their descendants remained at the old home- 
steads and in the same neighborhood, gave the south-east part of Innis- 
fil the Scotch-Presbyterian character which it possessed. 

At the Rebellion of 1837 some of these settlers did not desire to 
go to the front and assist in the quelling the uprising, as they natur- 
ally sympathised to some extent with the principles advocated by 
William Lyon Mackenzie and his party. As the "Dalhousie" settlers 
were not outspoken in their opinions on the matter, they were sus- 
pected of having non-pacific intentions. One of them possessed an old 
rusty musket, which was promptly taken from him lest he should aid 
the rebels' cause, and he was forced by loyalists to go to the frontier. 
This circumstance attached the name of "Rebels in Disguise" to the 
"Dalhousie" people and their descendants for some years after the 
Rebellion. Another report was circulated that they had been banished 
from Glasgow to Dalhousie, and that they had fled from their place 
of banishment to Innisfil. This report was chiefly made to do duty 
at municipal elections, when any of the "Dalhousie" settlers were can- 

John Lawrie, the first on the list given above, was a prominent 
person in his neighborhood, and a platform speaker of ability. His 
two sons, John and William, together with Dugald McLean, were the 
three sawyers of the settlement, for which they manufactured almost 
all the lumber for the district with a whipsaw in one of the old-time 
saw-pits. About the year 1840, John Lawrie, jr., and McLean obtained 
a canoe near De Grassi Point one Sunday afternoon and set out to 
cross the lake to Roache's Point on the opposite shore. They were 


never heard of afterwards, and it was supposed that they had been 
drowned off DeGrassi Point. 

The other son, William Lawrie, probably became better known at 
one day than any other member of the group. A few years after his 
arrival in Innisfil he married a daughter of Rev. John Climie, and 
filled a variety of callings. At one time he preached occasionally ; at 
another he occupied the position of chief constable of this county, after 
having served a term in Bradford as Bailiff of the Division Court, 
and another in Barrie in the office of Sheriff Smith. At other times 
he was bailiff, auctioneer, etc., and travelled throughout this county 
to a considerable extent in these capacities ; few men in his day knew 
it better than he. One of his most notable exploits was the arrest, in 
1858, of Robert Coulter, the outlaw, charged with murder at Holland 
Landing-. On another occasion he was in company with John Rose, 
of Bradford, when they were beset by robbers, near the place, but the 
two succeeded in warding off the attack. Subsequently he removed 
to Wroxeter, Huron County, where he carried on a conveyancing 
business for some years, and reached an advanced age. 

Rev. John Climie, the second individual on the foregoing list, had 
been a weaver in a village seven miles from Glasgow. A brother of 
his started the famous Clark spool firm of Glasgow, the name of the 
firm continuing for several years to be Climie & Clark. His family 
consisted of four sons and some daughters, who came with him from 
Scotland. One of the sons died in Innisfil soon after their arrival. 
Rev. John Climie, jr., of this family, was a Congregationalist minis- 
ter, and was stationed from 1840 onward for some time at Bowmore 
(now Duntroon), in Nottawasaga, and subsequently at Darlington, 
1851 ; Bowmanville, 1856, and Belleville, 1861. It appears to have 
been difficult for him to abstain from taking part in politics. His son, 
Mr. W. R. Climie, was secretary of the Ontario Press Association, 
and editor and proprietor of the Bowmanville Sun until his death in 
1894. William Climie, another son of the pioneer, lived on the home- 
stead, on the second concession line. The two remaining brothers, 
George and Andrew, went to Perth County, and have left there a 
numerous line of descendants. 


At Churchill, Galvin Allan, one of the "Dalhousie" settlers, took 
up lot 16, con. 3, (N. half), in 1832, and lived there for about eight 
5a (n) 


years, when he moved a mile further north. His sons have been 
identified with this neighborhood from the beginning of the settlement. 

On the opposite corner of the cross roads, (on S. half, lot 15, con. 
4), John Gimby, a native of England, settled with his family in 1833. 
Three children of this family died during the local outbreak of cholera 
in the autumn of 1849. 

This family removed to the Township of Derby, near Owen Sound, 
where John and Joseph hewed out new homes for themselves in the 
unbroken forest. These two men in their new neighborhood became 
well known, the latter of whom died on Nov. 2ist, 1889, at the age of 
63, leaving a large family. In the early years of its existence Chur- 
chill was known as " Gimby 's Corners," and subsequently as "Bui- 
ley's Acre," from the rough characters who often congregated there 
and held a "Merry Dublin." 

One of the best known citizens of Churchill for many years was 
Henry S'loan. By trade he was a waggonmaker, and pursued his 
calling at this place. He was a prominent Orangeman, one of his 
ancestors having come with William of Orange from Holland, and 
settled in Ireland. He was second deputy-reeve of Innisfil for two 
years (1869-70). 

In the neighborhood of Lefroy, Henry Grose, who had arrived in 
this county in 1832, after some time spent in West Gwillimbury, settled 
on S. half, lot 21, con. 4, Innisfil, and had a sawmill there at an early 
date. He was a native of England, became a justice of the peace, 
and was at one time a member of the Township Council. His death 
occurred in 1888. 

The village of Lefroy was named after Gen. S'ir John Henry Lefroy, 
who, from 1844 until 1853, was in charge of the Magnetic Observa- 
tory in Toronto. Gen. Lefroy 's first wife was a daughter of Chief 
Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson. 

John Cripps, who arrived upon S. half 20, con. 4, about the same 
time as the other pioneers of this neighborhood, at first performed all 
his farmwork with one ox; then, after fortune had smiled more gra- 
ciously upon him, with a horse and an ox yoked together which pre- 
sented a spectacle rather more amusing than convenient. Some years 
later he sold his farm, and shortly afterwards a false report was cir- 
lated by some one that gold had been found upon the farm which he 
had just left, causing him sorely to regret the sale of his possession. 


While in this neighborhood, it may be proper to say a few words 
upon Bell Ewart once the commercial metropolis of this Lake Simcoe 
region. For a long time, immediately after the opening of the Northern 
Railway in 1853, it was the busiest distributing point in the north; 
for there the traffic of all Lake Simcoe centred. It was the head- 
quarters of the boats, and the shipping, of the lake. In 1852, Sage 
& Grant, two capitalists from the United S'tates, built a large sawmill 
there the largest in these parts at the time. While good timber was 
plentiful around the lake, a large business was carried on ; but after 
a few years the timber limits became partially exhausted, the large 
mill was accidentally burned down, and Bell Ewart dwindled in size. 

With regard to the orthography of the word Bell Ewart, a curious 
circumstance arises. The place was named after the late Mr. Bell 
Ewart ; and the word is so spelled in all records of the post office de- 
partment. But for some reason or other the most frequent rendering 
was Belle Ewart; and a majority of the older books and records per- 
sisted in using the final "e. ' 

It is recorded, though with what degree of correctness we have 
been unable to learn, that a pioneer named Jacob Gill pitched his 
habitation, in 1821, on lot 23, con. 2, near DeGrassi Point, "just in 
from the lake shore, where for a number of years he was left the sole 
disturber of the woodland peace." 

With Bell Ewart the list of deserted villages is not exhausted, for 
about three miles to the north of that place, beyond Cedar Point, on 
the shore of a small bay, was once the village of Lakeland. Here 
was a sawmill and two or three dozen houses, but the place lost its 
human habitations. 

Returning now to the Penetanguishene Road, from which we have 
deviated, and still advancing on our way northward, the fifth conces- 
sion is next reached, where a few settlers arrived quite early. The 
Maconchy brothers settled upon lot 15, con. 5, in 1833, having come 
from the North of Ireland with Charles Willson, as already stated. 
The career of the late Thomas Maconchy was sketched in our chapter 
on Bradford, whither his family went from this farm about 1840. 

In 1832 came John Patterson and located upon lot 14, con 5. Pat- 
terson was accompanied by Thomas Reive, who returned to Scotland, 
coming again to Canada in 1834, with the late Richard Boyes, of 
Churchill. The latter in that year became a settler on the same farm 
with Patterson, but Reive did not permanently settle on it until 1846, 
remaining there until his death on October i3th, 1889. 

Thomas D. McConkey, Warden, 1860-1 ; M.P. for North Simcoe, 1863-72. 


INN1SF1L. 63 

Other early settlers of the same neighborhood are included in the 
following list : 

Mitchell Scott, (1833), N. half u, con. 5. 
Alex. Ross, (1835), S. half u, con. 5. 
William Fisher, (1835), n, con. 6. 
J. Johnson, (1835), S. half 9, con. 6. 
James Reid, (1830), S. half 19, con. 5. 
Alex. McLean, (1832), S. half 20, con. 5. 
Peter Gartley, (1833), S. half 21, con. 5. 
John Pratt, (1835), S. half 15, con. 7. 
W. McCullough, (1831), N. half 17, con. 6. 
James McLean, (1832), S. half 19, con. 7. 

Where the eighth concession crosses the Penetanguishene Road, a 
group of well-known settlers located at an early period. "Squire" 
McConkey settled upon lot 16, con. 8, in the early part of 1829. His 
family was the first to settle upon the Main Road here, after it was 
opened. His son, Thomas D. McConkey, was a merchant in Barrie 
from 1843, onward, M.P. for North Simcoe, and finally Sheriff of 

"Squire" Benjamin Ross also arrived upon S. half 15, con. 8, in 
the autumn of 1835. For about thirty years he was clerk and treasurer 
of Innisfil Township, and the Innisfil post office of which he was post- 
master during the same time, was the first in the township, and the 
only one for several years until the opening of the railway. He died 
at an advanced age in 1875, leaving a number of sons and daughters, 
one of whom being ex-Mayor C. H. Ross, of Barrie. 

Samuel Maneer, a native of England, located upon N. half 15, 
con. 8, with his family in the autumn of 1831. A large number of 
descendants of his family are now residing in different parts of the 
province. A few other settlers took up lands near him about the same 
time, including James Robins and John Thompson. 

James Wilson, William McCullough and W T illiam Booth were 
soldiers of Irish birth, who in 1832 were disbanded from Niagara or 
Toronto and did not return to their native country but took up lands 
in this township. With them was Joseph Orchard, a native of Eng- 
land, who also as a veteran soldier obtained land and turned his 
attention to farming in Innisfil. In the fall of each year when the 
turnip crop was ready to harvest, Mr. Orchard (and Mr. Wilson 
likewise) used his sword for "topping" the turnips, i.e., cutting the 


leaves off them, thus coming- as near as possible to a fulfilment of 
Isaiah's prophecy that the sword shall be turned into a plough share, 
and the spear into a pruning- hook. It was the writer's privilege 
once to find another sword in this county used as a stove-lid lifter. 


While in the southeast of Innisfil there was a distinctly Scotch 
immigration, in the west and southwest parts of the township there 
was a large influx of Irish settlers from Ulster. The two settlements 
were separated from each other by the "Big Swamp," which almost 
amounted to isolation, and on this account they have ever since largely 
retained the distinctive social features impressed upon them by the 
first settlers. These Irish settlers in the southwest arrived by way of 
Perry's Corners, (Cookstown), to the south of which, at a short dis- 
tance, was the only road across the "Big S'wamp," which extended 
far up into Innisfil. 

In the autumn of 1826, John Perry located upon the corner lot of 
Innisfil. This man, it appears, and his sons, were inclined to follow 
Nimrod's pursuits, and in their early hunting expeditions would wan- 
der over the adjoining townships, which were then but thinly popu- 
lated, calling- at the settlers' houses. For several of its first years 
Cookstown was known as "Perry's Corners." Subsequently, one 
Dixon kept a tavern there, and it was then called "Dixon's Corners," 
which name in turn was changed, in 1847, to "Cookstown." 

John Sutherland, a native of Sutherlandshire, Scotland, was an 
early settler in the first concession. He died May 8, 1888, aged 82 
. years. 

Amongst other settlers who came at a later date to Cookstown 
was Thomas R. Ferguson, formerly M.P. for South Simcoe, who was 
also of Irish birth. He came to this country when quite young, and 
subsequently engaged in mercantile business at Cookstown for a num- 
ber of years, with success. He first became reeve and representative 
of Innisfil in the County Council in 1852, and held the position for 
many years, during seven of which he was Warden of the County. In 
1857 he was first elected member of Parliament for South Simcoe, and 
remained its representative till 1873. 

Thomas Bathers, with his family, located upon the first conces- 
sion, also, at an early date, and like the Perrys, their neighbors, were 
given to Nimrod's pastime. 


Thomas R. Ferguson, Warden, 1858 and 1862-7 ; 
M.P. for South Simcoe, 1857-67. 


1NNISF1L, 67 

Henry Hindle, an emigrant from England, arrived upon N. half 
7, con. 3, in "33 or '34. He was the first white man to cross the 
"Big Swamp" on the fourth concession line of Innisfil. Upon the 
occasion in question he was on his way with a grist to Holland Land- 
ing, with his oxen and a sleigh. Everything went well, until, on his 
way home he reached the swamp, where he was attacked by a pack 
of wolves. To save himself and oxen from being devoured, he was 
obliged to chain his oxen to a tree, and run around them all night, 
brandishing his axe and shouting all the time to keep the wolves at 
bay. When daylight came the wolves fled, leaving the sturdy pio- 
neer to pursue the remainder of his journey unharmed. 

In the same neighborhood, which has usually been known as 
" Hindle 's Settlement," there arrived about the same time two bro- 
thers from the North of Ireland John and William Lennox. The 
former located upon N. half 8, con. 3, and the latter upon S. half 9, 
con. 4. Both have left numerous descendants. Haughton Lennox, 
a grandson of John, was first elected M. P. for South Simcoe, in 1900, 
and is the present member. 

Thos. W. Lennox, who served as first deputy-reeve of Essa in 
1886 and for several years afterward, is a son of William. 

Amongst other early settlers from the North of Ireland, who took 
up lots near these men, may be mentioned : John Scroggie, Matthew 
Gray, John Sharp, James McCormack, Stewart Wright, and others, 
all of whom came by way of Perry's Corners, and have left descendants 
in the neighborhood in prosperous positions. 


The first person to disturb the woodland peace in Innisfil was 
Mr. Francis Hewson, of Big Bay Point. This man came to Canada 
from Ireland in 1817, leaving his family in their native country until 
he should prepare a home for them in the forest. At Big Bay Point 
he purchased 500 acres of land, and in 1820 the family arrived there 
becoming the pioneers of the township. Shortly after their settlement, he 
was appointed a magistrate, and in this capacity for some years he 
tied all the matrimonial knots of the district. He was the first magis- 
trate in the county, and performed the first marriage ceremony. The 
children of this family were: Fannie, Francis, William, and Anna. 
Francis removed at an early date to Duntroon, in Nottawasaga, and 
became, in 1850, the first treasurer in that township. William became 


a millwrig-ht and built saw and grist mills in 1852 at Painswick on the 
large stream thenceforth known as Hewson's Creek. Anna, the young- 
est, was the first white child born in Innisfil ; and became Mrs. Davis, 
of Galesburgh, Illinois. 

Owing to the lonely situation beside the Lake Simcoe waterway, 
over which passed the entire traffic between the frontier and the upper 
lakes, the house of the Hewson family sheltered many early travellers, 
fatigued by the toil of the journey. Amongst them were Sir John 
Franklin and his party, who passed through in 1825. After a resi- 
dence of a few years at Big Bay Point, the family removed away, 
their farm became deserted, their fields were again overgrown with 
woodland, and nature onct more reigned supreme. The forest of 
second growth trees which then appeared upon the scenes of their 
first experiences, makes the place so attractive at the present day for 
those desiring to find retirement in the heated months of midsummer. 
In early years, Big- Bay Point was called Hewson's Point from the 
connection of this family with the place. In 1834, Mr. Hewson left 
the Point, and with his family became a resident of Barrie. 

Attention has frequently been called in these sketches to the fact 
that the pioneers mostly settled in groups, according to nationality. 
Several instances of this feature have already been found ; and we now 
come upon another group of early settlers who had been pioneers in 
Markham Township in the vicinity of Thornhill, but who re-settled in 
the northern part of Innisfil, just in from the shore of Kempenfeldt 
Bay. One of this Markham group, and the second man to arrive for 
permanent settlement in the township, was David Soules, who, with 
his brother, James, in 1823, purchased a block of land west of the 
Hewson tract. The Soules brothers were of Nova Scotian descent, 
and were members of a family of seventeen residing at Thornhill. 

During 1 the war of 1812-15 David had taken an active part in its 
stirring events, although he was then but young. He was at Little 
York when it was taken by the Americans, in April, 1813 ; he went with 
Major McDouall's party for the relief of Michilimackinac, in March, 
1814, and assisted them in building forty batteaux on the Nottawa- 
saga River; he was present when the two American frigates were 
captured with their crews of sixty men ; and he assisted in taking them 
as prisoners to Kingston. He was also one of those who opened the 
military road from Kempenfeldt to Penetanguishene, towards the close 
of the war. While thus on duty during war time in our county, he 
formed a high opinion of its superior advantages for settlement ; and, 


as we have seen, afterwards carried his ideas into effect by locating at 
Big Bay Point, almost before any others had disturbed the Simcoe 
forests. He settled there in preference to any other place, thinking 
that if a town should rise in his part of the country, it would be there. 
Unexpected changes are wrought by time ; and the farm which he 
selected is now far from the beaten paths of commerce. 

Soules, upon his arrival, built a small log house about three miles 
west of the Point, on a portion of his land (lot 26, con. 14), quite near 
the shore of Kempenfeldt Bay. This log cabin was replaced in 1838 
by a frame one constructed of boards cut with an old-time whipsaw. 
At this place he continued to live for 52 years until his death in 1875, 
passing through all the experiences of Canadian forest life. With his 
ox team he assisted Sir John Franklin and his party across the Nine- 
Mile Portage in 1825 ; and he often earned, in those early years, a few 
dollars, by teaming over the portage. His wife, Miss Youmans, of 
Scarboro Township, shared with him the trials of backwoods life 
through all these years; and their only child, Samuel Lount Soules, 
was born in 1823. Soules was a brother-in-law of the ill-fated Samuel 
Lount, and the part which he took in the Rebellion was one of im- 
portance and interest. 

James, his brother and companion in those years, brought his 
family from Thornhill in 1824. He was frozen to death near Ham- 
mond's Point, in the fall of 1839. His house was the second frame 
house in Innisfil. 

The next settler, and also one of the Markham group, was George 
F. H. Warnica, a Dane, who had seen many parts of the world before 
settling in the U. S. Leaving New York State about 1815, he 
temporarily resided in Markham, but permanently settled in Innisfil, 
and became the first settler at Painswick, (N. half lot 13, con. 12), 
where he and his family arrived in February, 1825. No other settlers 
lived nearer than David Soules, at Big Bay Point, a distance of six 
miles ; and many were the hardships which they experienced in reach- 
ing their forest home over the ice of Kempenfeldt Bay and through 
the deep snow to their land. Mr. Warnica died in 1847, at the 
advanced age of 83. His family consisted of four sons : John, George, 
Joseph and William, who have left a number of descendants. 

John, the eldest, was the first assessor of Innisfil, his duties in 
this capacity having been required as early as the thirties; and on 
different occasions during the forties he also performed the duties of 
that office. In 1850 he moved to Wisconsin, where he died in 1882. 


George, the second son, became the first settler of lot 15, con. 12. It 
is said he was at one day champion axeman of the township, and the 
large size of this man, and the strength of his muscle, would seem 
to indicate the truth of the statement. As in the days of Asaph, "a 
man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick 
trees," so here in the pioneer days of Innisfil, it was of some moment 
to be a good axeman. He was the first representative, or district 
councillor, of Innisfil at the meetings of the Home District Council, 
at Toronto, in 1842, and was a member of the first councils of Innisfil 
in 1850-1-2, besides being connected with municipal affairs in various 
other ways. He was also a justice of the peace. His death occurred 
in 1886. Joseph and William were constables for the district, and as 
such attended some of the earliest courts at the county town. They 
were large, fearless and resolute men, not easily overcome in their 
efforts to keep the peace. Joseph was one of the constables at the 
famous S'teele-Robinson election at Barrie in 1841. He was a car- 
penter by trade, and after living some years in Barrie, moved to Michi- 
gan, and perished at the close of the Civil War in the U.S., in which 
he had taken some part. William, the youngest son, was as intrepid 
as the others. One night, early in the thirties, while living at home 
at Painswick, the dog made a great uproar, from which William knew 
that something was wrong. He rose from bed, seized an axe, and 
without dressing marched forth into the darkness. The dog led him 
to where their cow was standing over her newly-born calf, keeping at 
bay a large and famished wolf which was trying to seize it. There 
was just light enough to see what was taking place. With one blow 
across the back from the axe he crippled the wolf so that it could not 
travel, and with another blow on the head he finished its career. The 
wolf was large, but very gaunt and famished, as wolves often were 
in the spring time, and this made it so bold. He became the settler 
on N. half lot 20, con. 10, where he resided till his death in 1876. 

Amongst others who came from Markham and took up land in 
northern Innisfil were Nathaniel and Jonas Wood, two brothers, who 
settled upon lot 16, con. 13, in 1833, the former on the north half. The 
baptism of his child by Rev. Father Mayerhoffer, a minister of the 
Church of England, from Markham, who occasionally came 
in those early years to visit his former parishioners, was the first 
event of its kind in the settlement. The services on that occasion, and 
indeed on many other occasions, in those early years, were conducted 
in the loft of Warnica's Inn at Painswick, which appears to have been 


the only available place of meeting in the neighborhood for adherents 
of all denominations, until as late as the Rebellion of '37. 

Another of this Markham group was Samuel Wice, who came to 
Innisfil (lot 13, con. 12), in 1833. His brother, Henry Wice (N. half 
13, con. 10), was also among the earliest arrivals. It was customary 
in olden times to have a very large fireplace and chimney in one end 
of the log cabin ; but Henry Wice appears to have outstripped every- 
one else in that line by having the fireplace and chimney so large as to 
occupy the whole end of his house. In other words, the chimney was 
the fundamental feature against which he built his log cabin. 

Following closely after these Markham pioneers came a small 
group of colonists from England, and located in a cluster near Big 
Bay Point : 

John Hammond, lot 24, con. 13. 
Moses Hayter, lot 25, con. 13. 
Joseph Hunt, lot 25, con. 12. 
Robert Fitten, lot 26, con. 12. 
John Pratt, lot 16, con. u. 

Hammond was a London carter, who had gathered considerable 
means, which he invested in Canadian woodland on the shores 
of Kempenfeldt Bay. He did not enjoy his property for many years, 
but died in 1840. 

Moses Hayter constructed the first sawmill of the neighborhood, 
at the lake shore on his farm. He afterwards became the first jailer 
of this county. A sketch of his career appeared in the Pioneer Papers, 
(No. i), of the County Historical Society. 

To these families of English colonists may also be added the 
names of Webb and Cullen, the latter of whom, Samuel Cullen, was 
one of the earliest residents of Vespra, but soon removed to Big Bay 
Point. Another early resident of the same neighborhood was Robert 
Robinson, (N. half 27, con. 72). It is related of him that on one oc- 
casion, when the family ran out of bread and were pinched for food, 
he threshed some wheat over a barrel, winnowed it in the wind, and 
carried the grist all the way to the nearest mill, at Holland Landing, 
on his back, and home again. Mr. Robinson was a zealous Orange- 
man, and the first Orange Hall in the township was built on the corner 
of his farm. The last years of his life were spent in retirement at 
Craigvale, where he died in 1865. 



Tollendal had its origin with the erection of a sawmill the first in 
Innisfil Township in '29 or '30, by George McMullen. With him was 
associated in this work George Emes, a man of some experience in 
mill construction, who came from Roache's Point, in North Gwillim- 
bury, for the purpose of building it. The mill was soon purchased by 
Captain Robert O'Brien afterward Admiral O'Brien, cousin of 
Lieut. -Col. E. G. O'Brien, of Shanty Bay, who in turn disposed of it 
to Mr. Edmund S. Lally. The latter gentleman became, therefore, one 
of the first residents of Tollendal. 

Mr. Lally had come to Canada in 1835, with letters of introduction 
to Sir John Colborne, the Lieut. -Governor, and had joined his brother, 
Meyrick Lally, at Shanty Bay, who had preceded him by three or 
four years. Shortly afterward he purchased from Capt. O'Brien the 
mill property at Tollendal, and resided there until 1845. Being unac- 
customed to the conditions of life in a new country, he, at times, in 
common with all pioneers, had difficulty in providing for his family ; 
but with time all these difficulties were overcome. He was appointed 
County Treasurer in 1845, and thereupon moved to Barrie. 

His sawmill at Tollendal was then leased and carried on by Alex. 
Sibbald. A grist mill had been erected in 1835 beside the sawmill by 
three men who had united their efforts for that purpose. The water 
power at this place was good, and its proximity to Kempenfeldt Bay 
rendered it easily accessible by water to a large number of settlers. 
This was the first grist mill in the township, the settlers up to that 
time having been obliged to carry their grists to the Red Mills at 
Holland Landing. This early grist mill at Tollendal was rented and 
operated by Jas. Priest, who was a resident of the place for a number 
of years. 

It was from Mr. Lally that Tollendal received its musical name. 

At an early date when the County of S'imcoe was about to be 
severed from the Home District, Tollendal partook in the strife to 
become the county town, it being at that time as large a place as 
Barrie. An agitation had been previously started to make Kempen- 
feldt the county seat ; thereupon Tollendal also became a competitor 
for the honor. Mr. Lally decided that the capital should be located at 
the head of the bay, which was about midway between the two rival 
villages. And thus was determined the fate of all three places ; Kem- 
penfeldt and Tollendal dwindled, while Barrie, at the head of the bay, 

Edmund S. Lally, County Treasurer, 1845-61. 


W. C. Little, M.P. lor South Simcoe, 1867-82. 

6a (n) 



sprang into sudden importance and life. Some time after, Mr. Lally 
moved to Barrie. He held conjointly with the County Treasurership, 
the agency of the Bank of Upper Canada. Upon the failure of that 
bank, in 1866, he was instrumental in establishing- a branch of the 
Bank of Commerce at Barrie, of which he was manager for a long 
time. Mr. Lally retired from banking, and died at Barrie, June i7th, 
1889, at the age of 83. During his life he was commissioned Lieut. - 
Col. of the Simcoe Battalion. 

Anrongst the early figures of Tollendal was John Chantler, who 
was born in England in 1816, and was at first a member of the Society 
of Friends. He emigrated in 1832 and settled in Newmarket, but re- 
moved to Tollendal in 1839. For a time he operated the grist mills 
at the latter place ; and with him resided his sister, Elizabeth, who 
was united in marriage on Jan. loth, 1842, to Rev. George McDou- 
gall, the Methodist missionary to the Indians of the North-west, 
sketches of whose life have appeared from the pens of Rev. Dr. John 
McLean, and his son, Rev. Dr. John McDougall. Shortly after her 
marriage, and at the time when Barrie was experiencing a boom con- 
sequent upon its selection as the county town, John Chantler removed 
thither and became one of its first merchants. At a later time he left 
Barrie, and was for many years a resident of Stroud. 

Other early residents of Tollendal were the Sibbalds. John came 
with his wife and family of small children to Canada in 1832. They 
arrived at Kempenfeldt, in November, when the weather was too 
rough for the steamer "Colborne" to land at Tollendal, so they had 
to cross the bay in a small boat to their destination after the storm 
had abated. They came from Edinburgh, although Mr. Sibbald was 
a native of Roxburgh, and his wife a native of Fifeshire, the two 
having met and married in the Scottish capital. Mr. Sibbald died, 
Sept. 26th, 1865, aged 65 years. 

Alexander Sibbald, as we have said, was for some time the tenant 
of the Lally sawmill. John Sibbald, his brother, was also for many 
years a resident of Tollendal. Andrew, another son, of the same 
family, followed the teaching profession, and in 1875, when Rev. 
George McDougall, the North-west missionary, was on a visit to his 
friends in Innisfil, Andrew Sibbald accompanied him to the far North- 
west, where he has been a teacher of the Indians since that time. The 
father of this family, John Sibbald, was the proprietor of the earliest 
public-house in Tollendal. , 


Robert Simpson, in 1841, built a brewery at Tollendal, but it was 
destroyed by fire Jan. ist, 1848. Inducements were then held out to 
him to locate his business at the county town, which he did. Thrift 
Meldrum also had a distillery at Tollendal, in its palmy days, which 
was also destroyed by fire. 

Among the later arrivals in the northern portion of Innisfil was 
William C. Little, a native of Gloucestershire, England. He had 
received an education as a surveyor, in which calling he served for some 
time in Australia, and was also in India, where he was engaged as a 
young man's private tutor. He came to Innisfil in 1847 and settled 
on lot 6, concession 13. In 1853 he became a member of the Innisfil 
Council and in 1856 was chosen one of Innisfil's representatives to the 
County Council. He served the township at the County Council for 
many years, retiring at the end of 1879. He was first elected M.P. 
for South Simcoe in 1867, and continued to represent that constituency 
in the House of Commons until his death, December 31, 1881. Of his 
sons, E. A. Little represented Cardwell in the Ontario Legislature 
from 1894 to 1906, and became Registrar of the Surrogate Court for 
this County. Another son, Alfred T. Little, joined the medical profes- 
sion, and is Medical Health Officer in the county town. 

Chapter VI. 


Like the other townships, Essa received its first quota of pioneers 
at the south, settling northward in the order of their arrival. This was, 
of course, the natural and geographical order in which the settlement 
should take place, for the expanding fringe of civilization advanced 

The first settlement in Essa was accordingly made in the south- 
east quarter of the township, and the three men, to whom the honour 
is due of making the first breach in the unbroken forest, west of Cooks- 
town of to-day, were George Dinwoody, Thomas Duff and Samuel 
McClain. These three pioneers "located" lots number one, in the 
loth, gth and 8th concessions respectively, along the townline between 
Essa and Tecumseth. They had come from County Monaghan, Ire- 
land, in 1825, to York (Toronto), and were related to each other by 
blood and marriage. Duff and McClain came first to view the land, 
and while in the forest at the place, they lay over night under a 
hemlock tree on the Tecumseth side of the townline. 

The removal of these settlers (at least the families of Dinwoody 
and Duff) took place from York (Toronto) to Essa early in the summer 
of the year 1826. While going to their new homes, they were obliged 
to make their oxen swim across the Nottawasaga River to the south 
of the site of Cookstown, or as the morass was called the "Big 
Swamp." This swamp continued to be an obstacle to the pioneers 
for many years, for they had to bring supplies from Holland Land- 
ing and Newmarket; and one of their earliest enterprises consisted 
in cutting a trail through it, though it was still necessary to "back" 
their supplies across it, as it was impassable for vehicles, and 
remained so for a long time till a Government crossway was con- 

These pioneers built a shanty upon the lot of Dinwoody, which 
they called "home," for a brief period, until further progress could be 
made, the two families living together for the first winter or longer. 
Their nearest neighbours were those in the vicinity of Bond Head, 
distant fully five miles. 



George Dinwoody and Thomas Duff were thus the two first actual 
settlers in Essa Township. 

In course of time George Dinwoody prospered, and in 1843 built 
a brick house, which was the first brick house in Essa. Robert 
Dearing, of West Gwillimbury, was the bricklayer who did the work 
of laying the bricks and mortar of this house. Mr. Dinwoody turned 
out as a volunteer during the Rebellion of 1837, and was the First 
Lieutenant of the Essa Company. He was the first elder of the 
Presbyterian Church in Essa, and served this locality in other ways 
during his long life. He died February 23, 1885, aged 85 years, 
his wife having died July 2, 1884, aged 93 years. They had two sons 
viz., William and James. William Dinwoody was the first white 
child born in Essa, and when grown to manhood settled upon lot 3, 
concession 9, of the township. He died in 1906. James Dinwoody 
was born here August 29, 1828 and still lives on the homestead on 
which he was born more than eighty years ago. 

The wife of Thomas Duff was Margaret Dinwoody, a sister of 
George, the pioneer. Thomas Duff was captain of the Essa Company 
of volunteers who turned out at the time of the Rebellion of 1837. 
He was one of the first elders of the Essa Presbyterian Church. He 
was also the Home District Councillor for Essa in 1842, travelling 
on foot from his home to the meetings of the council in Toronto, but 
receiving no pay or travelling allowances, as members get at the 
present day. He died October 12, 1875, aged 81 years, his wife hav- 
ing died December 30, 1869, aged 70 years. In their family there 
were four sons, John, William, Thomas and George ; also five daugh- 
ters, Mrs. Alex. McKee (who was killed in a railway crossing acci- 
dent December 8, 1896, at Lockport, N.Y.), Mrs. Robert Sproul, 
Mrs. Dr. Norris, Mrs. Jas. McBride, and Mrs. Rachel McKee. His 
farm of 200 acres passed into the hands of John and George. John 
Duff died March 4, 1901, in his 76th year, and his son, Major John 
A. Duff, of Toronto, died two years later. Another member of his 
family is the Hon. James S. Duff, M.P.P. for West Simcoe, for 
which he was first elected in 1898, and became Minister of Agricul- 
ture for Ontario, October, 1908. George, one of the original pioneer's 
family, was a member of the Essa and County Councils for some 
years, and Thomas has been license inspector for Centre Simcoe since 

Samuel McClain, the third person mentioned in this group, 
became disabled shortly after his arrival, and retired to York 




ESS A. 81 

(Toronto), where he was joined by his family from Co. Monaghan, 
Ireland, in 1827. He died prematurely in 1832. His eldest son, John, 
became his successor on the Essa lot in November, 1835, and remained 
its occupant for many years, afterward removing to Barrie, where he 
resided until his death, April 29, 1898, in his eighty-first year. Of 
Samuel McClain's three other sons Samuel, William and Robert, 
William also became a resident of Essa, and was reeve of the town- 
ship for fifteen years (1853-66, and again in 1868). He then moved 
to Toronto where he entered the government service. 

On the corner of George Dinwoody's land, a log Orange Hall 
was built at an early date, and in pioneer years this was also used 
for preaching by the Presbyterians, for township meetings, and for 
the purposes of a schoolhouse. Among the early teachers in this 
pioneer schoolhouse (in the thirties) were Andrew Coleman, a Mr. 
Bird, and James Johnston, all of whom are referred to at greater 
length in our chapter on the first schools. 

Hugh Dinwoody, a brother of George, settled at first on the 
Tecumseth side, in this vicinity, and was also one of the pioneers. 
His family came from Ireland to the settlement in 1834, he himself 
having arrived here a year or two earlier. For a number of years, 
in the forties, and later, he kept a store at Clover Hill on the Essa 
side, this being the pioneer store at the place, at which a lively trade 
was carried on at one time. 

David Lewis had been a soldier and came from Toronto early in 
1825 to the vicinity of Cookstown to seek a 200 acre farm, being 
entitled to 100 acres as a soldier, and 100 as an intending settler. 
Before he started from Toronto on this trip, one of the men who had 
surveyed Essa, had directed him to a surveyor's shanty left standing 
on Buckley's hill, a mile south of Cookstown, where he could obtain 
shelter. He had with him two men, and a little favourite dog. By 
following the "blaze" along the townline from the settlements near 
Bond Head, they reached the shanty in time to stay in it the first 
night. They found another surveyor's shanty beside the small creek 
passing across the townline of Tecumseth and Essa, by which he was 
able to know the place which had been described to him, and he 
chose a lot here at that time. When returning to the settlements they 
went astray and were lost in the woods for two or three days without 
food or shelter. The two men with him wanted, in this dilemma, to 
kill the little dog for food, to which Mr. Lewis would reluctantly 
consent if they should fail to reach a settler's before noon next day. 


Just before noon they came upon two men chopping in the woods, 
and by these men the lost travellers were taken in to dinner, and the 
life of the little dog was spared. When Mr. Lewis came again to 
the locality the next season, Din woody and Duff had arrived with 
their families, and Mr. Blackstock had settled on a lot up the east 
townline, so Mr. Lewis now chose No. 3, in the nth concession, 
facing the townline, and built a house upon it the same year (1826). 
He brought his family from Hogg's Hollow to the Essa lot in 
March, 1829. 

Those pioneers were not long the sole disturbers of the 
woodland peace, for in the same year, 1826, (and partly during the 
next), they were joined by another company, all of whom located in 
the neighbourhood. Amongst the new arrivals were : 

John Blackstock, lot 9, concession n. 
Charles Chapman, lot 7, concession 8. 
Robert Gilroy, lot 3, concession 8. 
William Strong, lot 5, concession 10. 
John Strong, lot 5, concession 10. 
Henry Morris, (1828), lot 7, concession n. 

These settlers were chiefly from the North of Ireland. John 
Blackstock had settled with his family almost as early as any of those 
who have been mentioned in the former part of this chapter. The 
Blackstock family were natives of the Co. Cavan, Ireland. He did 
not live many years in the Essa forest, but died in the forties. Of 
his family, John Blackstock, jr., died January 4, 1884, in his 77th 
year, and George Blackstock survived till June 16, 1903, aged 84 

Charles Chapman, the second pioneer in the above list, died 
June 20, 1867, aged 84 years. 

Robert Gilroy, the third early settler mentioned in this list, was 
a young man and may be classed with the group of Monaghan settlers, 
(Duff, Dinwoody and McClain), as he was a relative of Mr. Duff and 
family. He met with an accident with horses and waggon, went to 
Toronto for cure and had an operation, but died from the effects 
(March n, 1843), aged 31 years. 

William Strong was Township Clerk of Essa for a time. After 
living on the lot mentioned (lot 5, concession 10), he removed to 
Cookstown, where he died, January 28, 1852, aged 43 years. John, 

ESS A. 83 

his brother, went west to the "Queen's Bush" with the movement in 
that direction. James Strong, their younger brother, also went to the 
"Queen's Bush" and prospered there. 

Henry Morris, the last mentioned, was the Simcoe District Coun- 
cillor for Essa in 1843-4-5, an d again in 1849; an ^ he was the first 
reeve of the township in 1850. 

One account states, (and it is probably correct), that the Perry 
family came next after Dinwoody and Duff to this neighbourhood 
(in 1826), but they really belong to Innisfil, and have been already 
mentioned in our sketch of the settlers in that township. William 
Perry built the first tavern in Cookstown on the Innisfil corner, and 
this gave it the name of Perry's Corners. Before the village got the 
name of Cookstown, there was a contest over how the place should be 
named, and the strife waxed warm for a time. Hugh Dinwoody 
wanted it called Newtown Newbliss, after a place in Ireland; but 
Ferg'uson wanted it called Redhill after another place in Ireland. 
Mr. Cooke solved the question in a way that suited himself, as he was 
the first person who sold lots in it and registered the plan that way, 
so the proposers of other names had to fall in line with this one. 

Further north than the settlers already mentioned, and at a 
slightly later period, there settled John Henry, the pioneer at Thorn- 
ton of to-day. He took an active interest in the early education of 
the children of his neighbourhood, taught school in the forties, and 
Henry's schoolhouse was the name by which the locality was first 
known. He was also a magistrate. He died September u, 1866, in 
his 75th year. His two sons, James and Thomas, may also be classed 
amongst the pioneers of the locality. 

Alex. Arnold settled on lot 5, concession n, Essa, in 1832, and 
his son, James, came to Essa in 1834. 

Near the same part of the township as the last mentioned, others 
settled about the same time. James Speers came from Ireland in 
1832, married in 1838 and settled upon lot 12, concession 10, which 
he had bought at an earlier date. His younger brother, Hugh, may 
also be classed among the pioneers. At the time of the Rebellion of 
1837, the Essa company of volunteers mustered at the house of their 
kinsman, Jas. Speers in Tecumseth, before starting for Toronto. 

Henry Rooney, a Waterloo veteran, of the west half lot 2, con- 
cession 8, belongs to this early period, and William Cunningham, of 
the same neighbourhood, as well as his brothers. 


Among the later arrivals near Cookstown was Lieut. -Col. R. T. 
Banting, who came in 1845 to this locality. In 1851 he was appointed 
Township Clerk of Essa and held the position for a great number of 
years. He became superintendent of schools for Essa and served 
fourteen years in this capacity, as long as township superintendents 
continued to be appointed, 1858-71. He was appointed County Clerk 
of Simcoe in 1860 and held the position till his death, April i, 1902. 

Of the McBride family who settled near Braden's side road at 
a later time, Margaret was unfortunately lost in the wreck of the 
Asia on the Georgian Bay, September 14, 1882, aged 37 years. 
The Indians found her body after it had been washed ashore beyond 
Owen Sound. 

Near Ivy, several settlers arrived about the year 1847. These 
included George Davis, John T. Fletcher, John and James Lennox, 
James McQuay, Thomas Parker and Hugh Speers. Of these, George 
Davis, J.P., became deputy-reeve of the township in 1861 and held 
the position until he was elected reeve in 1867. He was chosen 
warden of the county in 1872, and died at the close of his year of 

The village of Angus was laid out at the time the Northern Rail- 
way was constructed in 1854, by Jonas Tar Bush, a real estate agent, 
who had acquired part of lot 30 on which it is situated between the 
Nottawasaga and Pine Rivers, and nearest the latter. John B. Smith 
had one of the early sawmills near this place, and a post office was 
established here in 1856, bearing the Christian name of Angus Mor- 
rison, then M.P. for North Simcoe. 


Among the first in the western settlement of Essa were James 
Robinson, James Bullock, John Bryce, Alexander and Robert Ruth- 
ven, senior, William Stevenson, William Allan, William Hall. These 
men with their families had emigrated from Scotland during the 
"radical times" in Glasgow, preferring to face the forests of Upper 
Canada rather than endure the political and social oppression of the 
Mother Country. They first settled in the County of Lanark, in the 
Ottawa River district, but finding that region somewhat unpromising, 
they soon removed to Essa. They were, indeed, part of the same 
Scotch migration which settled in the southeast of Innisfil. Soon they 
became comfortably located, and they have left a large line of descend- 
ants in that beautiful farming district. 

ESS A. 85 

Alex. Ruthven, a weaver from the vicinity of Glasgow, with his 
sons and brothers, Robert, William, George and James, were amongst 
the best known settlers in this Scottish group. William went to 
Elderslie Township, Bruce County, in the early years. The brothers. 
Robert and George Ruthven, settled on lot 9, concession i, Essa, 
in the spring- of 1832, and thus became, pioneers in that settlement. 
George was an assistant to Charles Rankin, surveyor, in the survey 
of Collingwood Township in the summer of 1833. This was the first 
township in the present County of Grey to be surveyed, being then 
included in Simcoe County. George Ruthven, while thus engaged, 
located a farm in that township at the time, viz., lot 31, concession 
12, and afterward settled upon it, becoming a pioneer of Collingwood 
Township. On their way to make the survey of Collingwood Town- 
ship in 1833, they went from West Essa through the woods near to 
Angus of the present time, and got their provisions over the Nine 
Mile Portage from Barrie, then just newly established. 

Robert Ruthven, senior, a brother of Alexander, was also a 
pioneer in West Essa. He was born in Glasgow and died November 
21, 1879, m hi s 77*h vear - 

It is one of the traditions of the West Essa settlement that one of 
the sons in the Ruthven family was the first white child to cross the 
Nottawasaga River in the westward movement of settlement. 

William Ruthven, of this settlement, was an early school teacher 
in the fifties near Cookstown. 

About this time also, Charles Handy came out of Tosorontio, 
where he had been living out of reach of neighbours, and settled upon 
the west half lot 5, concession 4. The Turnbull family and Mr. 
Brewster also belong to this early period. 

James Robinson, settled in 1831 on lot 4, concession i, Essa, 
and after living a while here, moved to Tecumseth, and later to Vespra, 
where he died. 

John Bryce, of lot 6, concession i, settled in 1831, also. He, like 
the other people in this group, went to the settlement by way of 
Bradford and Perry's Corners (Cookstown). 

Thomas Bruce, another pioneer, had come first to the Township 
of Tyendinaga in Hastings County, and afterward removed to West 
Essa. His grandson, Geo. W. Bruce, of Collingwood, was warden 
of the county in 1904, and is Lieut. -Col. of the 35th Battalion, Simcoe 


A true story, written by Ernest Bruce, of West Essa, entitled 
"The Barn Raising," gained the prize for the County of Simcoe in 
1890, in the Montreal Witness competition. It appeared in that 
newspaper, and related the story of how a barn was once raised in 
pioneer days of West Essa without whiskey, an event that rarely 
ever happened in that period, or locality. 

The Mormon movement in the early forties took some hold in 
West Essa. A Mr. Lake was the Mormon missionary, and held ser- 
vices from house to house in the settlement, the meetings being 
attended by crowds, as preaching from higher ideals was then scarce. 
At these meetings, William Ritchey also did some preaching in an 
unknown tongue. They baptized in Hall's Creek, having made a 
number of proselytes. Before long these left their lands, several 
families in number, and like a swarm of bees they went off all at one 
time in covered waggons, or prairie schooners, going to swell the 
Mormon settlement in Illinois or Missouri, and later at Salt Lake 
City. At a later time some adherents of the Mormons built a church 
or meeting house of that denomination in Alliston, but it is now 


The tract known as the "Essa Flats" had good pasture lands, 
and although they were not taken up quite so early as the higher 
lands, yet settlers came upon them at a comparatively early time. 

Walter Todd, a native of Yorkshire, Eng. , settled upon lot 3, 
concession 4, early in the thirties. He was District Councillor for 
Essa in the years, 1846-7-8. 

John Assip, a native of Ireland, was another early settler about 
the same time, and took up the west half of lot 4, concession 4. He 
was a retired soldier, and a shoemaker by trade, his knowledge of St. 
Crispin's craft being very useful in the backwoods in the early days. 


William Fletcher, a native of Yorkshire, Eng., had settled about 
the year 1825, upon lot 3, concession 14, Tecumseth, in the vicinity 
of the present Town of Alliston. As his sons were growing up to 
manhood, he acquired at an early time, a farm at the creek or river 
in Essa, where Alliston now stands, and it is stated that he removed 
to this land in 1847. The mill privileges of the stream had attracted 


ESS A. 89 

him thither, and in the following year, in conjunction with his sons, 
John and George, he erected a sawmill there, and a gristmill in 1853. 
A village soon grew up at these mills, William Turnbull being one of 
the first storekeepers. 

In June, 1874, the question of incorporating the place as a village 
came up, and the County Council appointed as census enumerator, 
John Gilbert, whose census return showed that it contained more than 
the requisite number of inhabitants necessary for incorporation, so 
they passed a by-law to incorporate it as a village. 

A bad fire in the winter of. 1877-8 destroyed much of the business 
part of the place, after which it was rebuilt in a more substantial 
manner. The village, in 1884, granted a bonus to Knight & Wilson, 
agricultural implement makers, for rebuilding the Vulcan Foundry, 
and thereby secured for the place an industrial establishment. 

Another severe fire visited Alliston in the early part of 1891, and 
in the following year, the place, which by this time had been made a 
town, raised $16,750 by debentures to construct a system of water- 
works for better fire protection as well as domestic use. 


Chapter VII. 


One of the very first settlers to arrive in Tosorontio was Charles 
Handy, who lived for a while on lot 3, concession 7, on the townline. 
One account states that he arrived about the year 1826, but if this is 
too early, he was, at any rate, a settler before any others in that part 
of the country. After he had lived in Tosorontio for a while, he left 
the place because he thought no settlers would ever take up land 
and make clearings so far west in the forest wilderness as he then 
lived. Accordingly, about 1832 he moved three miles east of where 
he lived, having purchased a lot in Essa from an old soldier named 
"Paddy" Parsons. A very singular career had Mr. Handy. He was 
thrifty in an extraordinary degree, and about the year 1840, while 
he was still a resident of West Essa, he began lending money and 
followed this thrifty occupation down to the day of his death. After 
a time in Essa, he moved to Sunnidale, and finally to the county town, 
where he built a shanty in what was known as "Boys' Block," in 
which dwelling he lived until he died, October 30, 1890, aged 89 years. 
Although he had accumulated the nice sum of $140,000, he always 
lived in the small hovel, apparently in abject poverty, and without 
the comforts of life which his wealth mig ( ht have given him. 

As in other townships of this county, there were land grants to 
U. E. Loyalists in Tosorontio, but in greater numbers, it would seem, 
than in the others. None of these lands, we may suppose, had ever 
been seen by those to whom they had been granted. There is much 
light soil in the township, except toward the south end and a tract 
at the northwest corner, and although the soil bore a valuable crop 
of pine timber, this had no value in the earliest pioneer days. 
Scarcely any of the U. E. Loyalist grantees became actual settlers. 

The tract of upland adjoining the West Essa Scotch settlement 
was one of the first parts of Tosorontio to receive settlers. 

One of the earliest was John Hill, who took up lot 8, concession 
7, (a clergy reserve lot), but transferred it to John Reid in 1837. 
John Reid himself had settled in this part of Tosorontio in 1833. He 
was a native of Dumfries Parish, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, (born in 
1781), had served a number of years in the militia, and then became 
7a(n) [90] 



a cotton weaver in Carlops, Peeblesshire, following this branch of the 
arts of peace for fourteen years, when he sold his household goods 
and left for Canada. His sons, James and John, may also be named 
as among the first settlers of Tosorontio, the latter coming in 1837, 
and his grandson, E. J. Reid, has been postmaster at Everett for 
some years. 

Another pioneer in this locality was John Cody, who settled upon 
the east half of lot 8, concession 7. Peter Cody was the District 
Councillor for the township in 1846-7-8. 

John Graham, a native of Co. Fermanagh, Irefend, settled on 
lot 9, concession 6, quite early. There was a pioneer Methodist 

Victoria Street, Alliston, looking East. 

Church at this place, and beside it a cemetery is the resting place of 
several early settlers. 

In 1833 and 1834, "The Hills" of Tosorontio began to receive 
settlers in greater numbers than before. Also, about the same time, 
along the south of the township facing Adjala, several settlers 

In the first mentioned locality, the Latimer family were early 
residents, James Latimer having been the District Councillor for the 
township in 1849. Wm. Latimer belonged to the same neighbourhood, 
and Thomas died January 6, 1904, aged 95 years, having been an 
early settler on lot 10, concession 7. 


John Fisher settled early (before 1837) on lot 10, concession 7, 
at the side road. The land here being good, he prospered and at one 
time owned 400 acres. He became reeve in 1868 and held the posi- 
tion for five years. Walter G. Fisher, the lawyer, of Alliston, is a 
son of this pioneer. 

Wm. Richey was an early settler near the same place, but went 
west with the Mormon movement in the early forties from West Essa, 
already mentioned in connection with that township. 

A little further north, lot 15, concession 7, Thomas Crosbie was 
an early settler, having arrived in Canada in 1839, and after living in 
West Gwillimbury for a short time became one of the pioneers of the 
high ground in Tosorontio. He died July i, 1892, aged 80 years. 

With the opening of the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway 
in 1878, Everett became a central village. It was incorporated as a 
police village, January, 1909. 

Further west, on the third line, and two miles northward, on lot 
16, (East half), concession 2, at Brennan's mill, a hamlet arose about 
the railway time, but it declined with the abolition of the mill. Also 
at Tioga, lot 17, concession 4, where the Pine River crosses the rail- 
way, a saw mill was erected at the same time. 

A few took up lots next to North Adjala at an early period. 
Among these pioneers were the following : 

Robert Armstrong, lot 4, concession i. 

Robert Fletcher, lot 3 (w. half), concession 3. 

Andrew Murphy, lot 2, concession 2. 

Robert Murphy, lot 3, concession 2. 

George McGirr, lot 2, concession 7. 

John McMulkin, lot i, concession 6. 

Timothy O'Hearn, lot 2 (w. half), concession 5. 

John Thompson, lot 3 (w. half), concession 5. 

Robert Murphy settled in the township in 1828, or soon afterward, 
and took an interest in its public affairs from the first, having been 
the first reeve of the township in 1855, and he held that position for 
several years afterward. A member of the same family was reeve 
in later years, Robert Murphy, and was warden of the county in 1903. 

John Thompson received the patent for the above mentioned land 
as early as January 13, 1829, and in course of time settled upon the 


George McGirr, who arrived before the rebellion, was reeve for 
some years in the seventies. 

The northerly parts were settled much later than the south, 
chiefly by Irish Protestants, as in the older parts. 

The Cherry family were among the first near Airlie, also the 
Jones family. Henry, John and Joseph Kidd "located" lands in the 
first concession in the sixties, having removed from the vicinity of 
Mono Mills. 

Lisle, or Forest Lee, was surveyed into village lots on lots 
25 and 26, concession 3, in 1878, on the construction of the Hamilton 

Marshall N. Stephens built the first mill at Glencairn in, or about 
the year 1853, and held a prominent place in the conduct of public 
affairs in that portion of the county till his death in 1903. He was one 
of the moving spirits for the construction of the branch of the Hamil- 
ton and Northwestern Railway through that place in 1878. 


The Pine Plains were covered originally with a red pine forest, 
which was removed by the lumbermen (wherever it had not been 
destroyed by fire) many years ago, and the land being too light to 
cultivate, they were again covered with a second growth of that 
timber. Coarse grasses also took root and covered it in stinted pro- 
portions. One also meets with unusual forms of plant life not found 
elsewhere in the district, including the sweet fern, which grows in 
abundance on some of the sandy and rocky tracts in counties north 
and east of Simcoe. 

Starting near the apex of Cornhill in Sunnidale, the Pine Plains 
extend in a southeasterly direction and cover portions of three town- 
ships. In shape the Plains have the outline of a beaver tail, with a 
length of ten miles, and a breadth of seven miles at the widest part, 
and as the larger portion lies in Tosorontio, this is the more suitable 
place to mention this prominent natural feature. Owing to its great 
size, it has had the usual budget of traditions of lost travellers, 
nondescript animals, tame beasts run wild again, all based on more 
or less foundation of truth. 

Sir Sandford Fleming was the first person to place on record 
a description of the Plains, so far as can be ascertained, having 


described them under the name of the "Burnt Lands" in his sketch 
of the Valley of the Nottawasaga (in the Canadian Journal, vol. i) 
written in 1852-53. He had become acquainted with the Plains while 
assistant engineer of the Northern Railroad about that time, and 
some parts of them, at least, had been overrun by fire at an earlier 
date. The land being so light, a strip of Tosorontio and of the 
adjacent Township of Essa were annually in the land tax sale for 
many years, farm lots having been once patented, mostly by lumber- 
men, but after the timber was removed they were not considered 
worth the taxes. 

Chapter VIII. 


An Order-in-Council was passed by the Government on April 
26th, 1819, respecting the settlement duties on the road, and settlers 
began at once to locate themselves along its course from Kempenfeldt 
to Penetanguishene. The Order-in-Council ran as follows : 

"It being' desirable to open the road to Penetanguishene, which 
commences on the north side of Kempenfeldt Bay, his Excellency 
in Council is pleased to order that to such persons qualified to receive 
grants from the Crown as are able and willing to perform settlement 
duty, locations of 200 acres will be made, upon their undertaking to 
begin their settlement duty within one month after receiving the cer- 
tificate of location, and continuing the same until a dwelling house be 
erected, and ten acres cleared adjacent to the road, and one-half the 
road in front of the location cleared also. 

Ordered, That notice of the above order be published in the York 

As a number of settlers established themselves along this 
military road in 1819 and 1820, even before the townships lying at 
the rear of the lots had been actually surveyed, it will be advisable 
to treat of this Old Survey by itself, from end to end of the road. The 
plan the government took to allot the lands to the settlers along 
this road was to give each settler as he came a farm, beginning at 
the south end and proceeding northward, according as he arrived, 
assigning a farm, first on one side of the road, then on the other. 
Here and there along the road, the lands claimed for the Hon. Wm. 
McGillivray's grant of 6,000 acres, were reserved from settlers, and 
this acted as a kind of partial blockade. 

By the end of the year 1819, the allotments reached as far north- 
ward as lot 33, or thereabout, and the lots had all been taken up to 
this place. It was from this plan of settling the lots that in some 
instances we find brothers, or father and son, in the same family, who 
had applied at the same time, occupied farms opposite each other, as 



in the cases of Partridge, Brown, White and Craig. It will be con- 
venient to begin at the south end of the road and follow it northward 
to Penetanguishene. 


Strange as it may seem to the modern citizen, there was a time 
in the early life of these parts when the Village of Kempenfeldt was a 
larger and more promising place than Barrie itself. The time referred 
to embraced the period between the reclaiming of the forest and the 
selection of Barrie to be the county seat, about the year 1837, as a 
result of which the hopes of Kempenfeldt were permanently blighted. 

The Government reserve of "Kempenfeldt" was first laid out 
quite early in the century, when the road to Penetanguishene was 
surveyed by Wilmot, as was mentioned in our sketch of the survey. 
Subsequently a Government station was established on this reserve 
for the accommodation of men and stores landed for transportation 
overland to Penetanguishene. Log barracks and a store were built, 
the latter of which was kept for a time by John Withrow, and after- 
ward by William Todd. These would begin about the year 1819 or 

The Johnson family, who were related to the pioneers of the 
same name at Johnson's Landing on the Holland River, as mentioned 
in our chapter on Holland Landing, lived at Kempenfeldt for a while 
as early as 1822, and after some absence from the place, a part of 
the family returned to the Penetanguishene Road, near Kempenfeldt, 
to live permanently in the thirties. Of this family the sons were : 
Lawrence, James (who resided most of his life near Kempenfeldt Bay 
and died February 3, 1895, in his 87th year), William (who settled 
in Flos), Thomas and Joseph. 

The first years of Kempenfeldt's existence are checkered more 
or less with the operations of speculators the invariable frequenters 
of new and rising towns. A somewhat incomplete account of their 
operations was published a few years ago 'n Belden's Atlas, which may 
serve, if reproduced at this point, to illustrate the varying fortunes 
of Kempenfeldt in the first years of its existence. 

"It will be necessary to return to the early part of the nineteenth 
century, when the Penetanguishene Road was located, and the Town of 
Kempenfeldt platted at the point of its intersection with the bay of the 
same name. This was but another attempt on the part of the Govern- 
ment to influence the course of commerce bv the issue of a fiat declar- 


ing-, 'this is a town.' The non-realization of their anticipations in 
this respect, however, was by no means an isolated one, as the maps 
of several western Ontario counties are adorned with 'towns' which 
never reached a position of greater dignity than a place on paper, 
reflected from the imagination of Government engineers. 

"The area embraced within this 'town' was 300 acres, which 
was sacredly reserved and preserved for the representatives of com- 
merce, and from the clutches of the agriculturist. We have no record 
of any merchants taking up their residence within its precincts, how- 
ever, until the surrounding territory had been located by actual 
settlers, who commenced the subjugation of her forests for purposes 
of husbandry rather than of trade. 

"When circumstances began to indicate a prospect of a future 
town at Kempenfeldt, the Government disposed of its forty-five acre 
reserve to the west, and its influence was promised to assist the 
development of Kempenfeldt. The 'reserve' so often mentioned was 
purchased by Captain Oliver, R. N. But ere two years had passed 
over the now established hamlet of Kempenfeldt, radically different 
opinions as to its future status had been formed by parties in interest. 
The representatives of Government became convinced that the effort 
to build up a town in that place must end in failure; while Captain 
Oliver, owner of the western 'reserve,' seeing a brilliant future in 
store for Kempenfeldt, induced the Government to relieve him of his 
forty-five acre purchase farther west, and secured a large tract in the 
immediate vicinity of the hamlet down the bay." 

It appears that a Crown Land sale of lots in the town plot of 
Kempenfeldt took place in 1836 to John Fullarton, on Monk Street 
and Davis Street named, we suppose, from two half-pay officers in 
Oro, and preserved from oblivion by the circumstances of this sale. 
Mr. Fullarton 's house was on the top of the hill where the roads 
divide, and its foundations may still be seen at the place. 

Amongst other early citizens of Kempenfeldt not hitherto men- 
tioned were Charles Collins and Adam Bryant. The latter Mr. 
Bryant was an English house carpenter by trade, and enjoyed the 
esteem of his fellow citizens. His wife died early in the fifties, leav- 
ing no children ; and Mr. Bryant himself passed the remainder of his 
life with his friend, Mr. Lang, the jailor of the county at that time. 

Captain Robert Oliver, R.N., who has been mentioned, 
lived about half a mile to the east of Kempenfeldt, on 
the property now owned and occupied by Mr. George 
Raikes. Here the captain owned a large estate. His house 
near the shore was a rustic edifice of considerable dimensions, 
from the centre of which rose a massive stone chimney stack. A Mr. 


Roadhouse, of Albion Township, was one of the stone masons who 
built this large stone chimney about the year 1827. Time and modern 
destructiveness were for a long time unable to erase this large chimney 
from its foundations, and it stood near the railway track as a 
memento of former times, while the house to which it belonged had 
perished years before. Immediately in the foreground is the "cove" 
known as Trafalgar Bay, so named by Captain Oliver in honour of 
Lord Nelson's great victory. His son, Captain Robert Oliver, left 
for the States at the outbreak of the Mexican war in 1846, and after- 
ward remained there. 

Another conspicuous figure at Kempenfeldt was George Ball. 
He became a permanent resident in 1834, after passing through many 
thrilling experiences, and remained continuously in Kempenfeldt from 
that year. He was born in Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, on May ist, 
1801. While young, he made up his mind to emigrate to Canada, 
and accordingly took passage in the brig "Workington Despatch," 
bound for Quebec. All things went well on the voyage for a time, 
but when in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in July, their vessel was ship- 
wrecked, and only a portion of the passengers and crew was saved, 
amongst whom was Mr. Ball. The survivors were rescued by some 
fishermen of the Gulf, and subsequently taken to Halifax in the British 
warship "Tyne." From the latter place they were taken to Quebec, 
where they arrived September 8th, 1828, after an eventful voyage 
lasting several months. It afforded Mr. Ball a pathetic topic of con- 
versation throughout his life to describe the distress and sufferings 
of the poor shipwrecked passengers on this occasion. Tears would 
fill his eyes when relating their terrible experiences amid the rocks, 
and on bringing to his memory the pitiful cries of the helpless children 
separated from parents and friends. On reaching Quebec Mr. Ball 
worked his way up to St. Catharines during the autumn of the same 
year. At this place he found work and abode there until the autumn 
of the next year, 1829, when he removed to Toronto. In the latter 
city he narrowly escaped death from being run over by a loaded 
waggon. As it was, he was laid up from the effects of this accident 
for a long time. When one considers the narrow escapes Mr. Ball 
had in those years, it is marvellous that he lived to be more than 
ninety years of age. In 1833 ne came to Kempenfeldt and bought the 
farm which he permanently settled upon in the following year. As 
he was unmarried at that time he boarded with his neighbours at 
Kempenfeldt, but in a few years after his arrival he bought the newly 


built dwelling of the unfortunate widow Ladd, whose husband had 
been drowned in Kempenfeldt Bay. It was customary in those early 
years with Mr. Ball to raft sawlogs across the bay to Lally's mill at 
Tollendal, where they were manufactured into lumber; he would then 
return the product to Kempenfeldt for use. Mr. Ball, during those 
years, while still remaining in possession of his Kempenfeldt property, 
would find employment in the more frontier sections of the country, 
and was at one time hired with Hugh Scobie, the Toronto publisher, 
who owned a farm just west of Bradford. He died October 28, 1891, 
at 90 years of age. 

William Mann was another central figure of the place in its early 
years. He opened a store and tavern in 1831, and subsequently owned 
and operated a brewery for several years. The name of Mann's Point 
was more frequently given to the place than Kempenfeldt. His tavern 
was the rendezvous for many of the social gatherings of that time, as 
well as a welcome shelter to the weary traveller. Mr. Mann came 
from Plymouth, Devonshire, Eng. , and died October 10, 1872, in 
his 77th year. 

A tavern was also kept by one Mr. Ladd, the site of which 
institution was at or near the brickyard of modern times. Its host is 
said to have been addicted more or less to the flowing cup; and he 
met an untimely end by drowning in Kempenfeldt Bay, about the 
time of the Rebellion of 1837. His widow was well spoken of, and 
subsequently removed with her family of five children or more to the 
United States. 

Amongst other citizens of that hamlet were Barnett Vandeburgh 
and James Somers. Barnett Vandeburgh, with James Johnson, 
burnt the first brick kiln at Kempenfeldt in 1836 or earlier. Mr. 
Vandeburgh returned to Markham Township about the time of the 
Rebellion of 1837, but subsequently came to Innisfil Township, where 
he spent the remainder of his life. 

James Somers and his wife (Elizabeth Snow) were natives of 
Somersetshire, Eng. Their son, George, has resided in the place 
throughout his entire life. The pioneer died April 13, 1873, aged 
75 years. 

A Mr. McDonald was a tailor at Kempenfeldt at an early date, 
and Thrift Meldrum built an early wharf at the Point. 

Early Kempenfeldt, however, did not monopolize the emigrant 
traffic to the northern districts, which were settled rapidly after 1832. 
At Hodge's Landing, now known as Hawkstone, more people landed 


on their way into the northern part of Oro and Medonte ; and Wellesley 
Ritchie, the government agent, lived on the Coldwater.Road, at Bass 
Lake, to place new settlers on their lots. Perhaps no person could 
have given a better account than Mr. Ritchie, were he living, of the 
settlement of this county, especially the northern half. 

But to return to Kempenfeldt, which thus suffered in the com- 
petition with other landing places. When the County of Simcoe was 
to be severed from the old Home District,- Kempenfeldt made a 
vigorous agitation to become the county town, as it was the largest 
place. Thereupon Tollendal, across the bay, put forth its claims to 
be recognized. In the strife <yvh5ch followed it was decided to locate 
the county seat at the head of the bay, as a result of which the fate" 
of the older Village of Kempenfeldt became sealed for all time to 


First Settlers on the Penetanguishene Road (Vespra and Oro). 
(From Kempenfeldt northward to Craighurst.) 

40 (Craighurst). 

James Johnson, 1820, 39 George McLean 18^0 

Richard Williams, 1822; 36 William Richardson, 1821. 


32 Isaac Hart, 1819. 
John Bruce, 1819, 31 

30 Joseph Drury, 1819. 

28 James Watson, 1819. 

Charles Debenham, 1819, 27 Francis Oades, 1819. 
Peter White, 1819, 2 6 James White, 1819. 
(Dalston), 25 

23 Charles Kerridge, 1828. 


John Brown, 1819, 20 Samuel Brown, 1820. 
John Jones, 1819, 19 Michael Bergin, 1819. 


' William Partridge, 1819, 17 Charles Partridge, 1820. 
(Crownhill), 16 Edward Luck, 1819. 

15 George Hickling, sr., 1819. 
J 4 

12 Richard Drury, 1820. 

Thomas Mair, 1819, n Thomas Drury, 1820. 
10 *John Gough, 1820. 



6 Thomas Ambler, 1828. 
John Lawrence, 1819, 5 George Oliver. 
Wm. Johnson and Wm. Larkin 4 

(Barrie plot.) (Kempenfeldt plot.) 

*The name of John Gough appearing on lot No. 10, should 
properly appear on a gore lot numbered "Letter D." between lots 
10 and ii, the bend in the Penetanguishene Road at that place not 
being shown in the list. 



Proceeding northward from Kempenfeldt along the top of the 
hill, an object of historic interest is Lawrence's graveyard, at lot 5, 
in which lie many pioneers and their descendants. From the marble 
slabs over the graves here and in the Episcopal cemetery onward 'at 
Crownhill, may be gathered almost the only remaining records of 
their lives. The first house built north of Kempenfeldt was John 
Lawrence's in 1819, on lot 5, (west or Vespra side). 

Beyond the "wide swamp" are several fine farms, all settled 
<}uite early, on one of which (No. n, west side) lived a well known 
figure of former years "Tom" Mair. He was a native of York- 
shire, and at an early date imported some very fine stock from Eng- 
land, which became the progenitors of a valuable herd. Captain 
Bonnycastle passed this way in 1835 and notes the agricultural enter- 
prise of this pioneer ("The Canadas in 1841"). His name was cor- 
rectly written Thomas Mair, though in the rough-and-ready speech of 
the settlers he was known as "Tom Mairs. " Mair remained for 
many years the uncrowned king of stock breeders in this section of 
country, but latterly fortune smiled less graciously upon his affairs, 
and the prosperity which he had known in his earlier days considerably 
declined. He appears to have taken part with George Oliver in the 
building and operation of the early mills at Midhurst, about 1825, 
and it is recorded that he was chairman of the Vespra township meet- 
ing in 1838, assisting in various ways both before and after that year 
in the local government of his township. He died December n, 1877, 
in his 82nd year. 

Advancing on our way northward the abode of James Wickens 
Is reached at lot 13. He was a native of Berkshire, Eng. , and had 
formerly held a position as lieutenant on the commissariat staff 
of the British army in the Peninsular War, but had withdrawn from 
the service on half-pay and settled, first, at Penetanguishene, and then 
on this lot. After settling here, he had a sawmill on the stream in 
the "Big Swamp" southward, and the stream came to be known as 
Wickens' Creek. In the parliamentary contest in Simcoe in 1836, 
Mr. Wickens was a candidate, the other two being W. B. Robinson 
and Samuel Lount. On this occasion Messrs. Robinson and Wickens 
were elected, the defeat of Mr. Lount, who had been associated with 
Mr. Robinson in the representation of the county up to this time, 
being attributed to the Government's distribution of land patents 


amongst a number of half-pay officers and soldiers, settled in the 
county, especially in Medonte, to secure their enfranchisement. But, 
be the cause whatever it may, the fact remains that Mr. Lount was 
ousted in this contest from his place in the dual representation of 
Simcoe by Mr. Wickens. Had the result been otherwise, there is no 
telling what effect might have been produced on succeeding events 
the precipitation of the unfortunate uprising of the following year in 
which Mr. Lount took a part; so that the share which Mr. Wickens 
had in the country's affairs was an important one, although not inten- 
tional on his part. He continued to represent Simcoe until 1841, when 
the position was filled by Captain Steele. Mr. Wickens was also con- 
nected in other ways with the municipal government of Vespra, as 
the minutes of its first council meetings show (January 3, 1842). He 
died May 20, 1847, aged 71 years. 


1. John Ross, Innisfil, (Warden). 

2. Joseph Wright, Beeton. 

3. L. MacAllister, M.D. , Nottawasaga. 

4. Jas. Hamilton, Nottawasaga. 

5. Jas. Wilson, West Gwillimbury. 

6. John Nettleton, Collingwood. 
' 7. John Gallagher, Tosorontio. 

8. W. J. Beatty, Tay. 

9. Jas. A. Spence, Creemore. 

10. H. R. Magill, Medonte. 

11. R. Calhoun, Tecumseth. 

12. Jas. Quinn, Orillia (town). 

13. P. Ronan, Adjala. 

14. D. A. Stewart, Stayner. 

15. Roderick McConkey, Innisfil. 

16. John S. Kerfoot, Vespra. 

17. Walter Lawson, Tay. 

18. Thos. G. Wolfe, Tottenham. 

19. Wellington Brothers, Sunnidale. 

20. Chas. McGibbon, Penetanguishene. 

21. Duncan Anderson, Oro. 

22. John Stewart, Alliston. 

23. George Duff, Essa. 

24. Henry Robertson, Collingwood. 

25. Jas. Ross, Oro. 

26. Jas. B. Tudhope, Orillia (town). 

27. Joseph Milligan, Tecumseth. 


On the same side and toward the north, came the dwelling of 
Jonathan Sissons, a native of Yorkshire, England, who came to 
Canada in 1834, and located upon lot 16. He was elected "commis- 
sioner" in 1838, and also held the office of "township warden" on 
several occasions after this. He subsequently served as reeve of 
Vespra, for eight years, a position afterward also occupied by his son, 
Jonathan Sissons, jr., who is now jailor. Mr. Sissons, senior, died 
June 29, 1880, in his 75th year. 

On the adjoining lot (No. 17) John and William Partridge had 
settled in 1819. They had come with the first group of settlers in 
that year. 

John Partridge died November 28, 1828, in his 62nd year. 

Chas. Partridge died July 2, 1880, in his 82nd year. 

John Partridge, jr., died May 4, 1893, in his 7gth year. 

Wm. H. Partridge died in 1904, aged 78 years. 

From these have sprung a numerous line of descendants. 

28. Edward Jeffs, West Gwillimbury. 

29. David Dunn, (Ex-Warden). 

30. Archibald Thomson, Orillia (township). 

31. W. A. S'neath, Flos. 

32. Jonathan Sissons, Vespra. 

33. R. E. Fletcher, Barrie. 

34. Nelson McRae, Tiny. 

35. Sidney J. Sanford, (County Treasurer). 

36. W. T. Stewart, Tiny. 

37. S. M. Wells, M.D., Barrie. 

38. T. S. Graham, Bradford. 

39. Duncan Fletcher, Oro. 

40. Richard Graham, Flos. 

41. Jas. Martin, Sunnidale. 

42. A. P. Robinson, Orillia (township). 

43. Jas. Speers, Essa. 

44. Robert J. Miller, Medonte. 

45. John McBride, Nottawasaga. 

46. Lt.-Col. R. T. Banting, (County Clerk). 

47. P. H. Stewart, (Assistant County Treasurer). 

48. Thos. W. Lennox, Essa. 

49. William H. Bennett, Midland. 

50. Oliver Burrows, Matchedash. 

51. Jas. L. Burton, Barrie. 

52. Arthur Craig, Medonte. 

53. E. A. Little, Innisfil. 

54. R. G. Campbell, Collingwood. 

55. P. Small, Adjala. 

8 (n) 


i :: 


Ministers of the gospel visited the outlying new settlements of 
Simcoe very seldom in those early years ; a travelling missionary 
would sometimes pass through a settlement, and his visit would be 
an important event in its history. Such was the experience of this 
settlement. It is related that about the year 1830, Captain Phillpotts, 
aide-de-camp of Lieut. -Governor Sir John Colborne, with Mrs. Phill- 
potts and a company of friends, were travelling from Penetanguishene 
to Kempenfeldt. In this party was a clergyman. One of the settlers 
near Crownhill becoming aware of this fact, seized the rare oppor- 
tunity afforded by the presence of the divine, and had his children 
baptized and those of some other families in the settlement. The 
solemn rite was performed at a small brook by the roadside, the 
children having been previously arranged in a row for the purpose. 
Some of the parents were also baptised with their families, bringing 
back scenes of apostolic times. The episode recalls those in the life 
of Vladimir, the Russian evangelist, who baptised whole villages in 

About two miles farther north (lot 26), at Dalston of the present, 
lived another notable figure in the person of Peter White, J.P., a 
native of Cornwall, Eng. He came with the first company of settlers 
in 1819. At the cabin of this man were held the first religious services 
ever held in Vespra. A log meeting house was erected on his farm 
in 1825, and in it Mr. White held services in connection with the 
Methodist Church for several years. The place was called White's 
Corners in the early days, and Dalston at a later time. On January 
2nd, 1837, he was chosen township clerk of Vespra, a position which 
he held for a number of years. Mr. White died January 29, 1876, 
in his goth year. His only son, Charles, occupied the homestead. 
At the time of his death, September 8th, 1908, he was supposed to be 
the oldest native of the county, having been born at Dalston, February 
1 4th, 1824. 

Charles Debenham located in the same year with White (1819), 
upon the adjoining property (lot 27). Mr. Debenham taught the early 
school at Dalston. It is recorded that he was chosen one of the com- 
missioners of Vespra for 1837, and one of the "wardens" of the 
township for the year 1839. He died November 29, 1852, aged 72 

A mile further on, John Bruce and his wife, a pair of Scotch 
Presbyterians, located in 1819, and opened the first store in 1829. 
He also kept travellers ; and in addition to this, their house was used 


as a place of public worship, thus making a threefold purpose for 
which the edifice was used. The travelling catechist, John Carruthers, 
called on them in 1832, and refers to the visit in his "Retrospect," 
(p. 7). In 1835 (July, aged 46 years) Mr. Bruce died, and the care 
of the household devolved upon his widow, Agnes, who remained 
hostess of the place for many years afterwards. She is described as 
a jolly, muscular woman, and is said to have on one occasion rolled 
a barrel of flour from Kempenfeldt to her own place, although this 
story lacks confirmation. Almost everyone acquainted with the settle- 
ment was familiar with the wayside tavern of "Nanny" Bruce, where 
Lord Elgin, Governor of Canada, once called, according to a report in 

Richard Williams took up lot 36 in July, 1821, and brought his 
family to the place in the following year. Three sons in this family-- 
Richard, Thomas and John, entered the ministry of the Methodist 
Church. The Rev. Thos. Williams was the author of an interesting 
series of "Memories" in the Orillia Packet in 1890-1, which the 
Pioneer and Historical Society of this County has reprinted in pamph- 
let form. Another son, William, died September 12, 1895, in his 
82nd year. 

Among the arrivals to settle on this side of the road at a slightly 
later date, yet during the early pioneer period, was the Caston 
family. Aaron Caston, a native of Suffolk, Eng. , acquired at this 
time lot 40, adjoining Craighurst of the present day. He died March 
25, 1882, aged 88 years. Marmaduke Caston, a member of the same 
family, died November 25, 1897, aged 70 years. 


Buried in the heart of an almost boundless forest, as were the 
families which settled along the Penetanguishene Road in 1819 and 
1820, they underwent privations and hardships that differed but 
slightly from those regularly encountered by pioneers in other parts 
of Canada. Little else than the usual routine of bush life felling 
the monarchs of the woods, piling the brushwood, burning the fallows, 
and making their first clearings served to animate their life in the 
backwoods. There were features, indeed, peculiar to the neighbour- 
hood in question, but these were of a local character, and produced 
only minor points of difference. 

John Gough, the early settler on lot D, at the bend in the road, 
died March 23, 1877, in his 95th year. 

Charles Drury, Sheriff, 1894-1905. 



Among- the earliest of those who settled on the Oro side in 1819 
were the Drurys Joseph, the father, with his two sons, Thomas and 
Richard. They were natives of the historic Kenilworth in Warwick- 
shire, Eng., and had availed themselves of the free grant lands of the 
Penetanguishene Road thrown open for settlement in 1819. Thomas 
and Richard Drury, being both young men, soon became expert 
woodsmen, and thoroughly acquainted with the rivers and lakes of 
the locality. When Sir John Franklin made his memorable Arctic 
expedition in 1825 by way of Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, these 
two men accompanied his party as assistants for some distance up the 
lakes. They opened in 1833, in company with Alex. Walker, of 
Barrie, the Sunnidale Road as far as the Nottawasaga River. A 
notable incident in the career of Thomas Drury was his marriage in 
the village at the Portage on Willow Creek, a place that has now 
totally disappeared. Both of these men subsequently held the office 
of councillor and Richard Drury was reeve on different occasions in 
Oro Township. Charles Drury, a son of Richard, was also reeve of 
Oro for some years, and represented East Simcoe in the Ontario 
Legislature from 1882 till 1890. During the last two years of the 
term he was Minister of Agriculture. He was Sheriff of Simcoe 
County from 1894 till his death, January 12, 1905. 

George Hickling, senior, also located in 1819. He was a navy 
veteran from London, Eng., and a turner by trade. He did not under- 
stand bush life, but by perseverance and thrift it was not many 
years before he had a cultivated farm. He died October, 1836. His 
sons were : George, William, Ebenezer, John and Charles ; his daugh- 
ter, Eliza, became the wife of Edmund Drury, later of Vespra. Most 
of them became pioneers of the Penetanguishene Road, and were 
among those who lived to see this county advance from a state of 
unbroken wilderness to its present improved condition. The older 
settlers who have seen the transition of the forest from its primeval 
state into comfortable homesteads, are becoming exceedingly few. 

George Hickling, jr., became the pioneer on No. 52, in the Flos 
lots farther north on this military road. 

Wm. Hickling, who died September 22nd, 1892, was born in 
London, Eng., in the year 1806, and secured a position when but a 
young man as gentleman's attendant, which position he held until 
coming to Canada. His income being small and having a wife and 
one child, he was induced to try and better his circumstances by 
emigrating to this country, which he did in the year 1831. Upon 


his arrival here his circumstances were not the most encouraging, he 
having but fifty cents in his pockets with which to start life in a new 
country. He did not yield to discouragement, but came and settled 
upon a farm in Oro, where he lived until within a few weeks of his 
death. His strength of will and courage were soon put to the test 
by the trials and hardships of pioneer life, which were the more trying 
to him because he had never been accustomed to manual labour. Of 
the extent and character of those trials and hardships none of the 
present generation know. The first wheat he planted he put in with 
a hoe and reaped it with a sickle, and after flailing it out and clean- 
ing it with the wind he carried upon his back, a bushel at a time, to 
the Red Mills at Holland Landing to get it ground into flour, which 
was selling at that time for five cents a pound. He was an ambitious 
man, yet the extent of it was in getting five acres cleared which he 
thought would be all he would need. For eighteen years he battled 
manfully and in a limited degree successfully with the difficulties of 
farm life when he was called to England to receive 600 which a 
deceased aunt had left him. This was the turning point of his life, 
for upon returning to Canada he at once paid the remaining debt on 
his farm. Being now in the happy condition of freedom from debt, 
his "tact and push," his attention to business, his perseverance, soon 
started him upon a career of prosperity. 

Ebenezer Hickling settled at an early date on lot 19, concession 
2, Oro. His house on this lot was on the rear of the land, that is, 
on the third line. It took fire and was burned down, January 5, 
1832, leaving the inmates in a sorry plight. 

John Hickling, the fourth son, died March 30, 1887, aged 72 

Charles Hickling, the youngest son, arrived on May 10, 1831, 
and was a lifelong resident of the Penetanguishene Road settlement, 
having seen its development almost from the beginning. He died on 
April 13, 1909, at the ripe old age of 93 years. 

Edward Luck became an early settler on lot 16. He was born at 
Albany, New York State, in 1806, and moved with his father's family 
to Simcoe in 1820. For twenty-two years, beginning in 1842, he 
taught school continuously in the Crownhill school. He passed over 
to the majority on February 4th, 1890, being at the time of his death 
the oldest surviving settler in this part of the county. He had a large 
family of sixteen children, several of whom still survive. 


Charles Partridge, the pioneer of lot 17 has been referred to in 
connection with the lot of the same number on the Vespra side. This 
family came in 1819 with the earliest arrivals. 

Michael Bergin was the first settler on lot 19 on the Oro side. 
His wife was a daughter of Mr. Lodge, who lived with them, and 
her brother, Francis Lodge, may also be classed as an early settler 
here with them. They were members of the Roman Catholic Church, 
of which there were comparatively few members along this Military 
Road. Mr. Lodge, senior, died about the year 1840, having lived to 
be 105 years of age. When Michael Bergin died about the year 1852, 
Mrs. Bergin and her brother, Francis Lodge, bequeathed their pro- 
perty to the church of their choice, and lived in retirement at Montreal, 
or in its vicinity. 

Reaching lot 20, we find it occupied by a member of the Brown 
family, who arrived in 1819. John Brown, the head of the family, 
settled on the Vespra side, and his son, Samuel, across the road on 
the Oro side, on this lot. John Brown's daughter, Grace, became the 
wife of Abraham Jory in England, and Mr. Jory, who was a native 
of Cornwall, with his family followed his wife's people to Canada in 
1847. He purchased lot 25, at Dalston, from the estate of John 
McDonald, the fur trader mentioned elsewhere in this work, and 
became an early settler. Mr. Jory died April 17, 1882, aged 89 years. 
It was Samuel Brown's wife who waited upon John McDonald, just 
mentioned, during his last sickness, from which he died in 1828. 

James White, the first settler on lot 26, was a brother of Peter 
White on the opposite, or Vespra, side, the two having been natives 
of Cornwall, England. James White's wife, (Pamila Draper), was of 
U. E. Loyalist descent, being a daughter of Joel Draper, of North 
Gwillimbury. Like other people born in the country, and used to its 
hardships, she made a sturdy, progressive, pioneer's wife. In the 
early days, the Indians travelled the Penetanguishene Road in con- 
siderable numbers, as it was the well beaten highway between the 
two lakes. Once when a pack of half-drunken Indians called at their 
place and became troublesome, she chased them with a pair of tongs, 
which they feared more than a tomahawk, as they did not know 
what the tongs' were, or what injury they might inflict greater than 
a tomahawk might do. James White was born, December 3, 1800, 
and died May loth, 1879. His widow died August 10, 


1889, at the age of 85 years. In their family there were 
two sons : William, who died, April 22, 1884, in his 515! 
year; and James, jr., both being occupants of the homestead. There 
were also several daughters : Mary (Mrs. Wm. Gardiner, of Oro) ; 
Elizabeth (Mrs. Edward Osborne, of Dalston) ; Livinia (Mrs. Bristol, 
of Syracuse, N.Y.); Harriet (Mrs. Chas. White, of Dalston); Lydia 
(Mrs. Herman H. Cook, of Toronto), and Lucy (Mrs. J. L. Cook, of 

Francis Oades, of the next lot (No. 27), was a native of Egham, 
England. He was the patentee of the lot (in 1823, although he had 
arrived at the beginning of the settlement in 1819, or very soon after- 
ward), and died June 8, 1859, aged 76 years. His son, James, had 
died on Christmas Day, 1851, aged 35 years. 

A mission was early established by the Episcopalians at White's 
Corners, now Dalston, the pulpit being supplied by the Rev. S. B. 
Ardagh, of Shanty Bay, and many a time in the diary of that faith- 
ful worker appeared the entry "Service at White's School House, 
Penetanguishene Road." 

James Watson, a native of Stirlingshire, Scotland, located 
lot 28, in 1819, with his father's family, living continuously there until 
his death on August 5, 1888, at the ripe age of 83 years. 

When Joseph Drury made a beginning on lot 30 in 1819, only 
two of his sons came with him; others remained in England, of whom 
Edmund came later and settled in concession 2, Vespra. The two 
who came (Richard and Thomas) have already been referred to, as 
they took up lots farther south on the road the following year. 

The next early settler was on lot 32, viz., Isaac Hart, a native 
of Exejter, Devonshire, Eng., who had settled first in Schenectady, 
N.Y., where he married a Miss Terwilliger, of that State, and of 
Dutch descent. On coming to Canada in 1819 to live, they had by 
that time three sons, who soon grew up to be hard working boys. 
These worked faithfully at felling the pines down the hills on their 
land, and burning them; and by the year 1831 they had the largest 
clearing along the Penetanguishene Road. After getting the land 
cleared, Mr. Hart grew quantities of corn, etc., which he sold to the 
soldiers of the establishment at Penetanguishene, and thus he pros- 
pered rapidly. Altogether he had a large family of twelve, nine 
sons and three daughters. Of the sons there were : George, Wil- 
liam, Abraham, Isaac, John, Nathan, Jacob, Thomas, Charles, nearly 


all of whom became permanent residents of this county, and helped 
to increase its wealth. 

William Richardson located about two miles farther north on 
lot 36, in February, 1821. In the month of September, 1852, a com- 
pany of three persons, then but recently arrived from Scotland, who 
were travelling from Flos to Innisfil, spent a night with Mr. Richard- 
son and his wife, and found them even at that time in comfortable 
circumstances, with a good house and a large clearing. They were 
kind and hospitable to their guests, as most of the older settlers 
always were. Their particular delight consisted in showing these 
visitors, with a good deal of well merited pride, the result of their 
labours in the backwoods. A large bed of growing tobacco was an 
object of special interest. Their guests were entertained till midnight 
with an account of their early settlement in the wilderness thirty years 
before, and how they had to bring their flour from Holland Landing 
by boat to Kempenfeldt, and then carry it home through the forest, 
besides many other stories of their early life in the bush. The carry- 
ing of grists by the pioneers through long distances seems to have 
been a universal topic of conversation. 

The following story was told in later years by Gideon Richardson, 
one of the sons of this pioneer, the events referred to having happened 
as long ago as 1825. "The bears were so numerous that his father 
kept the pigs shut up in front of the door of the dwelling house, and 
had to keep a little log heap burning at night for the purpose of 
frightening the bears away from the sty. The swine had to be 
penned every evening, but one Saturday night, it being wet, no fire 
was kindled, and Mr. Bruin of course took advantage of the situation 
and came amongst the pioneer's swine, which lay between the log 
heap and the door step. The bear made a charge at one of the pigs, 
knocking it through the door into the middle of the house, which 
was all one room. Of course it wakened up all the inmates of the 
house the father and five sons. When daylight came they tracked 
the bear down the lane, and saw also the tracks of two cubs, which 
could not have been far off, as, at the approach of the men, they 
heard the old bear give a loud whistle to warn the little ones of danger. 
After having been assaulted in the night time the pigs scampered 
away and went to the Northwest House on lot 35 (Vespra) so called 
because owned by Mr. McDonald, a Northwest trader. Two or three 
days afterward Rev. Thomas Williams and the narrator went into 
this house and found the pig that had been struck, lying dead." 


Mr. Richardson had a family of seven sons, all of whom became 
pioneers of the neighbourhood : John, Gideon, William and George 
settled in Flos, James in Vespra, Robert at Edgar, and Henry at 

George McLean, a native of Dundee, Scotland, located in 1820 
upon lot 38. He died February 7, 1859, aged 61 years. His family 
included James, of Kempenfeldt, who died March 23, 1892, at the age 
of 56 years; John, whose death occurred on December 2Oth, 1889, 
and who was for years a dealer in grain; and George, who remained 
upon the homestead. 

Chapter IX. 



John Richardson, the eldest son of William Richardson, the 
pioneer who lived farther south on this Military Road, on the Oro 
side, settled on lot 41 at an early date. He was District Councillor 
for Flos during- three years, viz., 1844-6. 

Stephen Bishop, who settled quite early on lot 42, was also Dis- 
trict Councillor for the township during- 1847-9. Wm - Larkin had 
been the first settler on this lot in 1824, but sold it to his cousin, Mr. 
Bishop, and moved to lot 4, near "kempenfeldt, about 1832. 

One of the very first to locate within the borders of Flos was 
David McDougall, a retired coxswain of the Navy, who arrived on the 
i2th December, 1826, and took up lot 44 on this Penetanguishene 
Road. He was a native of Dundee, Scotland, and had served in the 
navy on the lakes during the war of 1812-15. Before he came to this 
county he had resided in Kingston, Ontario, where most of his family 
were born. As he was almost the first settler in Flos, the wolves were 
particularly troublesome in the early days of his settlement, and used 
to howl about the home of the lonely pioneer in a terrifying fashion. 
The bones of many sheep killed by those denizens of the forest were 
common sights in the rear of McDougall 's clearing in those days. A 
son of his became the Methodist missionary to the Northwest Indians, 
the Rev. George McDougall, biographies of whom have appeared from 
the pens of the Rev. Dr. John Maclean, and his own son, the Rev. 
Dr. John McDougall. David McDougall and family left this place 
about 1842 and went to live in the vicinity of Owen Sound. 

Beyond the swamp, northward, the S'wan brothers, natives of the 
County Cavan, Ireland, and veterans of the 66th regiment, took up 
grants in 1836, and became early settlers, Thomas on lot 51, and 
James on lot 52. Their brother, William Swan, settled in 1842 on 
lot 52, on the second line, and died, July 6, 1855, aged 47 years. 
James Swan died suddenly in 1840, leaving a widow, but no descen- 



dants. The sons of Thomas Swan are to be included in the roll of 
pioneers, viz., John O. , (who died March 10, 1896, aged 65 years), 
James Thomas, jr., Joseph H., and William. 

William Davenport, an escaped negro slave, settled on lot 51, at 
an early date, and became a prosperous farmer. His brother, Ben 
Davenport, had also been in slavery, and was unmarried. 

On the next lot north, viz., on 52, George Hickling, jr., the 
eldest son of the pioneer of the same name at Crownhill, on the Oro 
side, was the first settler. 

William Prey settled and opened a tavern on lot 53 in 1829. This 
was a welcome boon to wayworn and night-overtaken travellers, but 
he did not remain here more than five or six years. And we find John 
Rowat on the same lot, or a part of it, before 1837. Hugh Marlow, 
on lot 55, was the first postmaster of Flos, in 1837. 

To the northward of Hillsdale of the present day, John Hamilton, 
a Waterloo veteran, settled on lot 60. On his retirement from the 
79th Highlanders, at Penetanguishene, whither the detachment of his 
regiment had been sent in 1831, this lot was granted to him at the 
close of twenty-one years' service. His son James, who occupied the 
homestead, and another son William, of the same neighborhood, may 
also be classed as pioneers. 

Beyond Orr Lake, John Rowley, a retired soldier with the rank 
of sergeant, received lot 70 in Flos, and became the earliest settler at 
this place. His son, who may also be included among the pioneers, 
contributed some interesting particulars of the early days to the Elm- 
vale Lance of September 27, 1906. The hill at this part of the Pene- 
tanguishene Road has always had the name of Rowley's Hill, from the 
first settler. 

Other retired soldiers also took up lots along this part of the road 
at an early period. James Gravett, of lot 73, was an old seaman, and 
wore his hair plaited in a queu, and hanging down his back, accord- 
ing to the fashion of an earlier time. His second wife was a sister of 
the pioneer mail carrier, Neddie McDonald, of Penetanguishene. And 
on lot 74, Thomas Kettle, color sergeant of the 68th Foot settled in 



First Settlers on the Penetanguishene Road (Flos and Medonte). 
(From Craig-hurst to Waverley.) 

75 (Waverley). 
Thomas Kettle, 74 
James Gravett, 73 
James Hunt, 72 


John Rowley, 70 

(Orr Lake), 67 



Wm. Campbell & D. McGenerty, 61 
John Hamilton, 1832, 60 

59 Patrick Murphy, 1829. 



56 (Hillsdale). 


William Prey, 1829, ^3 

Geo. Hickling, jr., 1829, 52 

Wm. Davenport, 1821, 51 





David McDoug-all, 1826, 44 John Craig-, 1821. 

43 Thomas Craig-, sr. , 1821. 
Stephen Bishop, 42 Alex. Laing\ 1820. 
John Richardson, 41 (Craighurst). 



In the early days of settlement, James Morrison kept the first 
tavern at Craighurst, which was then known as "Morrison's Cor- 
ners." He was a native of the Island of Jersey, off the coast of 
France, and after living- for a time in Barrie, where his relatives lived, 
about the year 1840, in addition to the tavern above mentioned, he 
also built the first mill at Craig-hurst, but it was not a success, as the 
stream was too small to supply good water power. He also started 
the first line of stages along- the Penetanguishene Road in 1847, was 
the government contractor for the improvement of the road in the 
same year northward from his place of business, also had a sub-con- 
tract for carrying the mails, and had the government contract with 
Joseph Rush (a carpenter) for building the Indian houses on Beau- 
soliel Island. He died March 26, 1856, aged 41 years ; and his wife, 
Charlotte Johnson, survived him until July 25, 1892, dying at 79 years 
of age. 

Alexander Laing of Glasgow, Scotland, settled on lot 42, in 
March, 1821, and survived until August 13, 1877, dying in his 8gth 
year. His son, John Laing, started a blacksmith shop at Craighurst 
in 1848. He died May 25, 1900, in his 82nd year. 

Thomas Craig, with his two sons John and Thomas, jr., arrived 
in the spring of 1821, and took up lots 43 and 44. They were natives 
of Kendal, Westmoreland, England. Immediately to the north of their 
locations there was a wide swamp across which the Penetanguishene 
Road made its way, and this often bore the name of Craig's Swamp. 
It lent a dismal setting to the place in the pioneer days, especially in 
those seasons of the year when the wolves were most troublesome, 
particularly the autumn. Thomas Craig (the elder Thomas, there 
having been three generations bearing the name Thomas) died April 
10, 1840. 

John Craig, the eldest son, was a young man of 23 years of age 
at the time of their arrival, and settled upon the north half of lot 43, 
May 14, 1821. He was clerk of the division court at that place, and 
also postmaster, the post office (Craighurst) receiving its name from 
this family. He was District Councillor for Medonte in 1844, and 
was reeve of the same township for sixteen years continuously, 1851- 
66. During 1857 he was the Warden of the county. He died May 
23, 1876, aged 78 years. 

John Craig, Medonte, Warden, 1857. 



9a (ii) 


Thomas Craig, the second of the name, (there were only two sons 
in the pioneer's family) was the surveyor of the roads for Medonte and 
North Orillia in 1844 an ^ subsequent years, and held other public 
positions at various times. He died August 23, 1871, aged 63 years. 
A considerable family survived him. Thomas, the third of the name, 
resides on the . homestead ; Abraham, Division Court Clerk, on the 
opposite, or Flos, side of the road. Arthur first entered the County 
Council in 1876 as Deputy-reeve of Medonte, and became Reeve in 
1878, a position which he held for several years. He was appointed 
Treasurer of the County in 1897, and held the position until his death, 
June 26, 1905, at the age of 63 years. 

James Boynton, a native of England, settled on lot 51, in the 
second concession of Medonte, at an early date. Although he was 
thus not on the direct line of the Penetanguishene Road, there was a 
by road from it to his place, and accordingly he will be suitably placed 
here among the pioneers along the road. In later years, when relat- 
ing the events of his life at the period when he moved with his family 
to this country, he said, "I had a log shanty, without floor or win- 
dow; the door was so low I had to creep in on all fours." As there 
were no mills near his place, when he raised his first crop of wheat 
he had to take two stones and pound it, and from the meal they made 
a kind of coarse bread. At other times he would take a bushel of 
wheat on his back, with some provisions, and carry it to the mill, 
many miles distant, camping out at night. He died September 12, 
1873, aged 77 years. 

Hillsdale took its rise at an early date at the "regulation" place 
"where twt> roads meet," being at the point where the Gloucester 
Road left the Penetanguishene Road, and exactly half way from 
Kempenfeldt to Penetanguishene. 

In the year 1829, Patrick Murphy, a retired soldier, came to this 
locality and settled. He had served under Wellington, and was quite 
a young man when he received his discharge with a pension of a 
"York shilling" a day, owing to a wound he received before the 
Battle of Waterloo. He died in 1874. 

In the vicinity of Orr Lake, William Archer, a retired soldier, 
was the first settler, taking up lot 69 on the Medonte side early in 
the thirties. A numerous line of descendants of this name reside in 
this neighbourhood. 



Here and there retired soldiers were settled along- this Military 
Road, with wide intervals of forest between them. On receiving 
their quarterly allowance, these pensioners used to make things hum 
for a while as long as the pension instalment lasted, and the Pene- 
tanguishene Road every ninety days was lively. 

James Bowden, a veteran soldier, settled early on lot 80, Tiny. 
His son-in-law, John S'tamp, son of the next pioneer, had this home- 
stead for a time. 

Marmaduke Stamp, a native of England, was the first settler on 
lot 85. He had not been a soldier, but as a civilian he was a use- 
ful person in his day. We often find him recorded as the overseer 
of the highway from lot 76 to lot 90, especially in the fifties. He was 
also a constable, and in other ways attended to the public weal. 

Wyebridge took rise at an early period of settlement, the River 
Wye at this place furnishing good water power for mills. Angus 
Grant, who has been referred to in another part of this work as the 
husband of Catharine McDonald, the fur trader's daughter, kept an 
early store here for a time. He was well-educated, and had some good 
qualities, but did not succeed in business. 

Robert Jeffs came with his family from County Armagh, Ireland, 
in 1820, to Penetanguishene, and soon after this time his son, Robert 
Jeffs, Jr., became one of the first settlers near Wyebridge, on lot 95. 
Lot 96 also became their property, the father receiving one and the 
son the other. The wife of Robert Jeffs, the younger, was Phoebe 
Edmonds, the early Indian teacher at Holland Landing. He taught 
school at or near Wyebridge for some time, was District Councillor 
for Tiny in 1843-4-5, and again in 1849, and in various other ways 
served the public welfare. His sister, Hannah Jeffs, became the wife 
of William Wilson, another pioneer of this neighbourhood, and in 
West Gwillimbury, Edward Jeffs, another member of the family, was 
one of the pioneers of that township. 

Arthur Crawford, a retired soldier, settled upon lot 100 in 1819, 
and was the only settler near the place for a while. He was a native 
of Belfast, Ireland, and died about the year 1835. Descendants of 
his still reside in this vicinity. 

Edward and Miles McDonald were the early mail carriers from 
Penetanguishene. Edward was the occupant of lot 114, near the 
town, for a number of years. The other brother, Miles, went to St. 
Vincent Township, or Meaford, and spent the remainder of his life 



First Settlers on the Penetanguishene Road (Tiny and Tay). 
(From Waverley to Penetang-uishene.) 

(Penetanguishene), 115 Stephen Jeffrey. 
Edward McDonald, 114 

H2 Asher Mundy. 




1 08 


106 John Smith, 1828. 



101 Geo. Ludlow. 
100 William Wilson. 


98 William Cowan. 

97 Francis Dusome. 






Arthur Crawford, 1819, 

Robert Jeffs, 1820, 

Angus Grant, 


Marmaduke Stamp, 8 

James Bowden, 

( 5 







(Waverley), 76 David Bannister, 1829. 



David Bannister, a retired soldier, settled upon lot 76 at Waver- 
ley in 1829. He had served in Canada during- the war of 1812-15, 
and had been at the Nottawasaga when the "Nancy" was sunk there. 
He was a native of Leicestershire, England, and after the war he 
returned to his fatherland, but came back to Canada with a wife and 
settled here. 

Down to a late period the Penetanguishene Road passed through a 
long stretch of woods from Waverley to Wyebridge. In this lonely 
part of its course many years ago a tragedy occurred which has often 
been narrated, two soldiers having died here from fatigue and mus- 
quito bites. Their regiment was on the march to Penetanguishene, 
and when near Wyebridge of later times, one of the men fell ill and 
was unable to go any further. His brother remained to take care of 
him, but the others in the detachment pressed on and late in the 
night reached the post at Penetanguishene. In the morning, finding 
that the two brothers did not reach the post, a company of soldiers 
returned along the road to look for them, and on arriving- near the 
place where they had been left the night before, they found them 
both dead, lying near together. Taking up their bodies, their com- 
panions carried them (about seven miles) to the post, and there buried 
them in the small graveyard on the hillside. At their graves they 
erected a headstone with this inscription 


by their Comrades 

to the 



two brothers, late of the 7gth Regiment, who died on the 
march to this post, on the 2nd of June, 1831, John, aged 
25, Samuel, aged 23. 

"In the midst of life we are in death." 


It is said that one of the men or perhaps both lived until they 
had arrived at Penetanguishene on a litter, although the popular 
account says they were both found dead. John Lethbridge, of Mid- 
land, wrote an account of the tragedy under the title of "Left to 
die," for which he was awarded the school prize for Midland Public 
School in the Montreal Witness competition, 1890, the article appear- 
ing in that newspaper. 

Francis Dusome, the contractor for carrying the mails three times 
a week, owned lot 97 and lived near Wyebridge in the forties and 

William Cowan, the pioneer on lot 98, has been already referred 
to in the chapter on the early fur traders. 

John Smith, who settled on lot 106, had belonged to the commis- 
sariat department at Drummond Island. 


So abundant are the memories and associations attaching to his- 
torical, old Penetanguishene, that volumes of matter, locally interest- 
ing, could be written upon that place alone. It would, accordingly, 
be impossible in these sketches to give anything more than an outline 
of the first years of that northern town. Many references have 
already been made to its pioneer days, in other parts of this work. 

The first acquaintance of the present European settlers with the 
harbour of Penetanguishene was obtained when Governor Simcoe made 
his memorable trip to Georgian Bay in 1793. Little or nothing was, 
however, done in the way of using it until the war of 1812-15. Toward 
the close of that struggle a naval establishment was proposed for 
that point, and this may be said to have been the beginning of the 
town. Sir George Head was sent to superintend the commissariat 
duties of the new Establishment, and in his "Forest Scenes," published 
several years afterward, narrates his sojourn at Penetanguishene Bay. 
(His account occupies thirty octavo pages.) After a brief existence, 
the whole Establishment was broken up on March loth, 1815, and not 
revived for three years. 

The naval and military depot was moved in 1818 from the Not- 
tawasaga River to Penetanguishene. Ten years passed during which 
the Establishment was conducted on a limited scale, and then the 
place received a sudden expansion by the removal of the military 
post from Drummond Island thither, the soldiers being followed by 
a variegated retinue of French and half-breed boatmen, traders and 


pensioners, no greater mixture was ever found on any frontier. 
Many particulars of this migration in 1828 have been included in a 
valuable paper of 44 pages by Mr. A. C. Osborne (Papers and Records, 
Ontario Historical Society, III.) (1901). In other articles, notably 
in a booklet on Penetanguishene (1907), Mr. Osborne's pen has done 
good service in building up the story of that town's early develop- 

A list of the detachments of regular troops stationed here at 
subsequent times may be found in the Rev. Dr. Scadding's Toronto 
of Old, p. 503, a book which has an interesting chapter on the place 
in the early days. 

The Establishment, as it was called, was two miles beyond the 
centre of the present Town of Penetanguishene, and near the entrance 

The Provincial Asylum, Penetanguishene. 

to the harbour. Its situation is one of the most beautiful to be seen 
anywhere in eastern Canada, commanding as it does an extensive 
view of the arms of Matchedash Bay, with its picturesque and varied 
scenery. There was a stockade around the old post, but it was ruth- 
lessly removed in the fall of 1906, and another building inside the 
stockade which was probably a magazine was taken down at the 
same time. A few of the original buildings of the post,, are, how- 
ever, still standing, notably the officers' quarters (a thick-walled, 
stone building, a storey and a half high, with loop-holes now bricked 
up). The barracks of the troops which surrounded the officers' 
quarters have all been removed, but at some distance the dwelling of 


Adjutant Keating, a hewed-log house of considerable size, is still 
standing- at a little distance from the shore of the bay. The inter- 
esting' little island, known as "Magazine Island," lies immediately 
in front, and on it may still be seen the old hewed log building form- 
erly used as the magazine for the storage of the powder. 

The first reduction of the Establishment took place in 1832, when 
the naval stores were put up at auction. From time to time reduc- 
tion went on, until it came to an end in the early fifties, enrolled pen- 
sioners being the last stationed there. 

On June 19, 1856, the Ordnance and Admiralty lands in various 
parts of Canada were transferred to the Province, and an Act of the Can- 
adian Parliament (19, 20 Viet., c. 45) enumerated and classified them. 
These included the reserves and barracks at Penetanguishene (5,396 
acres), except that located by enrolled pensioners and under license 
of occupation to Major Ingall. This was by far the largest military 
reserve in Upper Canada, and very soon the Canadian Government 
converted it into a farm for a Juvenile Reformatory Prison. In 1859, 
we find the Reformatory fully established, and by October, 1860, it 
contained some 60 boys from various parts of "Canada West" as this 
province was then called. For the first few years the building used 
for the Reformatory was the old military barracks, in which the boys 
were cared for under Wm. M. Kelly, the Warden. A new and 
imposing structure was erected in 1862-6, and immediately occupied 
as the Reformatory. It was built chiefly of sandstone blocks from 
Quarry Island in the neighbourhood, but also with some granite and 
limestone, the central portion rising to a highth of 88 feet. Grants 
for the erection of the new edifice were made by the Canadian Gov- 
ernment (in addition to maintenance) as follows : 

June, 1862 $16,000 

October, 1863 12,000 

June, 1864 10,835 

September, 1865 11,650 

August, 1866 i7,4 

By the year 1866, there were 150 boys confined within its walls, 
and its population continued to grow. 

Returning now to the early days of the Establishment, from 
which we have digressed, officers of many kinds came and went, 
"birds of passage," we might almost call them, yet some of those 


who came with the influx of 1828 from Drummond Island became 
permanent residents of the town or its vicinity, and they may well 
be regarded as its pioneers and entitled to some notice in these sketches. 
To this class belong- Lieutenant Carson who was in command of the 
68th, brought from Drummond Island, James Keating- the adjutant, 
Santlaw Rawson, sergeant, and Captain John Moberly, R.N., who 
also came about this time, and was the agent of the Bank of Upper 
Canada (1836, etc.), besides being one of the early magistrates. 

The officers of the Government Indian Department also came with 
the others from Drummond Island, Capt. T. G. Anderson, Indian 
Agent, who lived here before going to Coldwater; Dr. David Mitchell, 
Surgeon-General to the Indian Department, and William Solomon, 
Government Interpreter. 

Many other officers after getting their discharge papers became 
settlers in the adjoining parts of the country. To this class belong 
James Wickens, of the commissariat staff, and Samuel Richardson, 
the surveyor, both of whom, after the reduction of the Establishment 
about the year 1841, removed southward on the Penetanguishene Road 
and settled near Kempenfeldt. 

Amongst others who held positions at the Establishment in those 
early years, was Capt. James O'Brien Boucher. At the close of the 
Establishment he took up land at Sutton, on the south side of Lake 
Simcoe, subsequently erecting a flouring mill and factories there. 
Sutton was originally named "Boucher's Mills," after this pioneer 

Another of those connected with the early naval Establishment 
at Penetanguishene was Dr. Caldwell. His widow at a later period,, 
according to Dr. Scadding, lived in Toronto for a length of time. 

Of the French-Canadian contingent who followed with the removal 
of the depot from Drummond Island in 1828, several became promi- 
nent in the early days of Penetanguishene. Dedin Revolte (Revol) 
built the first dwelling house in the town itself, according to one 
account, although there are two versions of the events ; at any rate 
M. Revolte was the first French-Canadian to build a house. In the 
early days before a priest was regularly residing at the place, he 
instructed the people in religious matters, and acted as catechist in 
reading the service on Sundays. He also spent much time and means 
to instruct the Indians who were then so numerous in the neighbour- 
hood, and mostly pagans. 


J. B. Trudeau was the blacksmith for the Naval depot, and was 
about 35 years of age when the removal took place. 

Charles Vasseur was one of the soldiers, or at least had been one 
before the removal. It is said of him that he brought the first cow 
and the first yoke of oxen from the frontier part of the province to 
the new settlement at Penetanguishene. 

Louis Colombes (Columbus) became the reeve of the united town- 
ships of Tiny and Tay in 1860-1, and was again reeve of Tiny in 1872. 

In the paper by Mr. Osborne already mentioned, which deals more 
particularly with the French-Canadian contingent from Drummond 
Island and their interesting experiences as canoemen and traders, 
there are to be found narratives by Louis Solomon, Michael Labatte, 
Mrs. Rosette Boucher, Jean Baptiste Sylvestre, Antoine Labatte, and 
Angelique Langlade. The statements of these people have been 
permanently recorded by Mr. Osborne, with much expenditure of time 
and trouble, and the reader will find much interesting information in 

Penetanguishene had been frequented by fur traders since the 
first permanent establishment of the military and naval depot there 
in 1818. William Beausoliel, trader, in 1819 settled on the island 
which bears his name, although the maps persist in calling it "Prince 
William Henry," while everyone calls it Beausoliel. 

George Gordon, a Scotch trader who had been at Drummond 
Island at an earlier time, settled at the point a mile beyond the bar- 
racks in 1825, then built a house in Penetanguishene two or three 
years afterward, which was said to be the first house built in the 
town. Mr. Osborne 's paper contains numerous particulars of this 
pioneer who died in 1852. 

Two descendants of Dr. David Mitchell, the Surgeon-General to 
the Indian Department, became prominent in the early days of Pene- 
tanguishene, viz., Andrew Mitchell who built the first store in the 
place, and George Mitchell, who was Superintendent of Schools and 
died in 1868. Mitchell, the early storekeeper, was one of the moving 
spirits in the building of the first steamer at Penetanguishene in or 
about the year 1832. 

William Simpson, the trader, was the first, District Councillor 
for Tiny and Tay in 1843, going to Toronto to attend the meetings 
of the Home District Council. 

Asher Mundy, who has been already mentioned in another chap- 
ter, kept the first canteen for the soldiers. Then Stephen Jeffrey had 


a. second canteen, and was innkeeper in the early days at the town 
itself. He owned a vessel in the first period of the town's history. 

From an early time there were three stores in the place, and in 
1847 Edward Jeffrey added another. George Copeland had the first 
saw and grist mills, although there is an account of an earlier saw- 
mill built at the head of the bay by Wm. Robinson. 

Much has been written at different times by literary visitors to 
that place, a partial list of whom is here given : 

John Gait, Rev. Peter Jones, John Carruthers, Dr. Thos. Rolph, 
Mrs. Anna Jameson, Capt. Bonnycastle, Rev. A. W. H. Rose. Sand- 
ford Fleming, Dr. Scadding, and others. To reproduce the interest- 
ing references to the early harbour and town made in the writings of 
these people, would require more space than is at our command. 

The religious welfare of the people does not appear to have been 
neglected in the early years. Ministers of all denominations on various 
occasions would journey thither to preach to the soldiers stationed 
there, and Walton'., Directory for 1833-4 informs us that Rev. Law- 
rence Dempsey was the R. C. clergyman of Penetanguishene and 
the adjacent townships. The same volume also states that the Bank 
of Upper Canada had an agent there at that time in the person of 
Andrew Mitchell, Esq. 

Coming down to later years, W. H. Smith, in "Canada: Past, 
Present and Future," gives a list of those in business at Penetangui- 
shene in 1850, viz. : George Copeland, W. B. Hamilton, E. Jeffrey, 
Wm. Simpson, and Alfred A. Thompson. 

Capt. James Matthew Hamilton of the 5th Reg. of Foot came to 
Penetanguishene about the year 1830, and was a prominent citizen there 
in the early years. His son, William Basil Hamilton, entered into 
partnership with James Darling and carried on a general store. He 
was District Councillor for Tiny in 1846-7-8, a Justice of the Peace, 
and held other public offices. On the construction of the railway to 
Collingwood in 1854, he removed thither, and entered the sawmill 
business. He held various public positions in Collingwood, being 
the first mayor in 1858. He died October 28, 1891. 

Among other well known men of Penetanguishene in the early 
days, were two brothers, Alfred A. Thompson and Henry H. Thomn- 
son. Mr. A. A. Thompson was appointed a Justice of the Peace, 
April 3, 1857, and held various positions of trust during his life, which 
dosed somewhat suddenly April 28, 1885. His son, Alfred B. Thomp- 


son, was first elected to the Ontario Legislature for Centre S'imcoe 
in 1898, and is the present member for the constituency. 

With a view to incorporation as a village, the County Council 
in June, 1875, appointed an enumerator to take the census of Pene- 
tanguishene, viz., Walter J. Keating, who found a population of 841 
in the proposed limits of the new corporation. Accordingly, the 
Council passed a By-law incorporating it as a village. An Act to 
incorporate it as a town was passed by the Ontario Legislature, March 
10, 1882, and on the third Monday after that date, the first election 
of Mayor, Reeve and Councillors of the new town took place. 

In 1888, the town raised $10,000 by debentures, to be used in 
assisting harbour improvements and building an esplanade. In 1890, 
the town inaugurated a system of waterworks, passing a By-law to 
raise $20,000 for the purpose. 

Chapter X. 



Even before the survey of Oro in 1820, it was the intention of the 
Government to devote part of it to the philanthropic uses of a coloured 
colony. A few coloured settlers were located j but for some reason or 
other the initial enthusiasm of the project died out, and nothing further 
on the part of the Government was done until about 1830. In connec- 
tion with this proposal they commissioned Lieut. -Col. Edward George 
O'Brien to act as Government agent for the location of the negro 
immigrants. Col. O'Brien then became a settler, anl the founder of 
Shanty Bay. 

He had, at the age of fourteen, entered the naval service as mid- 
shipman on board H. M. frigate Doris, but the peace with America in 
1815 blighted his hopes of advancement in the navy. A lengthy extract 
from his "jottings," made while in the service, appears in Thompson's 
"Reminiscences," and describes his first experience of life at sea. Leav- 
ing the navy, he entered the army for a time and served in the West 
Indies, where his health failed him, but soon after he again went to sea 
and made numerous voyages to the East. Illness forced him to leave the 
service and come to Canada. 

In his pretty log cottage at Shanty Bay he dwelt during the first 
years after his settlement, and his relations with the settlers of the 
neighbourhood were of the most friendly character. Mr. Thompson in 
his "Reminiscences" has preserved a glimpse of his residence as it 
appeared in 1833, and has also recorded various incidents in his career. 

In those early years he was a commissioner of the Court of 
Requests at Barrie, and occupied the position of chairman of the 
Quarter Sessions for the Simcoe District. He was one of the first 
magistrates in this locality. 

When the uprising of 1837 took place, he called together a com- 
pany of stalwart settlers, and marched for Toronto; but before arriv- 
ing there he received instructions from Sir F. B. Head, the Lieut. - 
Governor, to proceed to Bond Head and remain there to take charge 


Lt.-Col. Edward G. O'Brien. 

(By courtesy of Henry O'Brien, K.C.) 


ORO. 137 

of the place, for there had been some disaffection in the district. After 
Simcoe had been erected into a county, Mr. O'Brien and his family 
removed to Toronto, where they resided for many years. He began 
business in the city as a land agent, and was subsequently Manager of 
the Provincial Insurance Company, until 1857. In 1848 he became 
partial proprietor of the Toronto Patriot newspaper, but on May 25th 
of the following year occurred the great fire which destroyed the 
Patriot printing office. Shortly afterward Mr. O'Brien sold his share 
in that newspaper to Mr. Ogle R. Gowan. 

Lieut. -Col. E. G. O'Brien's life, as well as that of his wife, have 
been warmly eulogized by their contemporary generation. Their 
charitableness caused them to be respected by people of all shades of 
opinion; and it is recorded that to Mrs O'Brien, Toronto is indebted 
for its first ragged school. Several members of their family became 
distinguished in various ways. Lieut.-Col. Wm. E. O'Brien was com- 
manding officer of the 35th battalion, Simcoe Foresters, resigning 
October, 1897, and was member of the Dominion House of Commons 
for Muskoka; Lucius R. O'Brien was generally acknowledged to be 
the foremost Canadian artist in his day; while Henry O'Brien, K.C., 
of Toronto, is a well-known member of the legal profession. In the 
burial ground of the Shanty Bay church, which they mainly assisted 
to establish, Col. O'Brien and his wife are buried, and over them an 
Irish cross bears the following words : 

"In loving remembrance of Edward George O'Brien, who died 
September 8, 1875, age 76; and of Mary Sophia, his wife, who died 
October 14, 1876, age 78. This stone is raised by their children. He 
having served his country by sea and land, became A.D. 1830 the 
founder of the settlement and mission of Shanty Bay. She was a true 
wife and zealous in all good works. Faithful servants, they rest in 


S'hanty Bay with its old associations was the centre of a move- 
ment which has much interest from an historic point of view. The 
movement referred to consisted in the bestowal of land along the lake 
shore to retired British half-pay officers by the Government of Upper 
Canada. This practice had been followed by the Government for some 
time previously, but when Sir John Colborne became Governor in 
1828, for some reason or another he formed a preference for the Lake 
10 (n) 


Simcoe section, and advised almost all the half-pay officers who 
applied to him for grants to settle on the north shore of Lake Sim- 
coe. There was, accordingly, about the year 1830, a demand for 
sites along- the Oro shore, where a delightful view of the scenery of 
the lake could be had. But the soil being poor and stony many of 
those who located found to their sorrow that they could not live upon 
scenery alone, and the subsequent stampede was almost as hasty as 
the rush to get located. 

The following is a list of those officers of the army and navy who 
obtained land grants, beginning at Kempenfeldt and proceeding east- 
ward to Hawkestone : Captain Ross, Capt. Oliver, Col. O'Brien, Capt. 
E. A. Walker, Capt. Monck, Major Adam, Major Laurie, Capt. 
Charles McVittie, Col. William B. McVity, Col. Davis, Johnson 
Allingham, and Col. Carthew. 

Each officer received a grant from Sir John Colborne, the Lieut. - 
Governor, the land being distributed amongst them in proportion to 
their rank and services. It was usual at that time to allot the land 
to officers according to a statutory schedule taking account of the 
length of time in the service and the quantity of land to which each 
class was entitled ; and the Oro allotments were made in this way. 
(See chapter on Land Grants, Vol. I.) 

Reference has been made in former chapters to some of those 
whose names are mentioned in the preceding list. Capt. Robert Oliver 
has been mentioned in connection with Kempenfeldt. Prior to locat- 
ing in Kempenfeldt Capt. Oliver resided on the site now known as 
"Woodlands," in a large, substantial log edifice owned by Eli Beman 
of Holland Landing, the occupants being (besides himself), his wife, 
3 sons, 2 servants, with Meyrick Lally, and John McWatt (who had 
arrived in 1832 on the newly constructed steamer). 

Major James Adam received his land grant, near Oro station in 
1832, and became one of the earliest magistrates in Oro. He was 
the Home District Councillor for the township in 1842, and in the 
following year was the first Treasurer of the District of Simcoe, but 
died a few months after his appointment. Descendants of his have 
lived in the same neighborhood since that time. 

Capt. E. A. Walker moved from his first "location" near Shanty 
to the county town and represented Vespra Township (with which 
Barrie was then included for municipal purposes) as District Coun- 
cillor throughout the entire period of the Simcoe District Council 

lOa (n) 



o & 






ORO. 141 

Col. Wm. B. McVity afterward became the first Clerk of the 
Peace when the County of Simcoe was organized. He died April 6, 

Capt. Monck was a cousin of Lord Monck, the first Governor- 
-General of the Dominion of Canada. 

Capt. Malcolm Ross of the King's Regiment received 1,400 acres 
in 1832 in concessions 7, 8 and 9, near the shore. 

Several of the half-pay officers who have been mentioned were 
located at or near Hawkestone. Amongst those who occupied a con- 
spicuous position in the locality was Lieut. -Col. Arthur Carthew, late 
of H. M. 64th Regt., an officer of Cornish origin. But he did not 
dwell permanently at Hawkestone. Some time after 1836 he built 
a commodious house on a part of the Deer Park property on Yonge 
S'treet, the interior fittings of which, according to Dr. Scadding in 
"Toronto of Old" were of solid black walnut, had been bought from the 
Jarvis' family residence by him, and transferred without much altera- 
tion to Deer Park. Col. Carthew is also said to have made extensive 
improvements on property near Newmarket. He died on October 4, 
1878, at the advanced age of 82 years. 

These officers, in settling on the lake shore, encountered the usual 
hardships of the backwoods. Rev. Isaac Fidler met with one of these 
officers at Newmarket in 1832, and refers to him in his "Observations 
In the United States and Canada." As already mentioned, Sir John 
Colborne did all in his power to induce well-to-do immigrants to settle 
north of Lake Simcoe ; but, with few exceptions, nothing was gained 
by the experiment but a sorrowful experience. 

The settlement of the half-pay officers, so unique in its concep- 
tion, was evidently an attempt to follow the classic policy of the 
Romans, who settled the veteran or retired soldiers on the outlying 
colonial frontiers to establish there "communities of loyal, able and 
valiant citizens." The plan looked all right on paper, but was unprac- 
tical for modern times. 

The grantees of these lands, although receiving estates which 
were larger than what one would call "small holdings," and which 
were not in accordance with more recent land policies and the prevalent 
views of to-day as to what the size of land grants should be, did not 
impede settlement, as the land along the shore generally was some- 
what stony in places and the soil not always the best. (It was not 
such land as practical people would take up first.) On the contrary, 


the officers had usually some wealth, and in making their disburse- 
ments for clearing and for what they needed, they circulated money 
and helped to make times good. In nearly every case, they lost 
money by their settlement while the community gained it. After sell- 
ing their land for what they could manage to get for it, they generally 
moved to the towns where they passed the remainder of their days. 
Thompson's summary from his "Reminiscences," will form a fitting 
conclusion to our own remarks on these officers : 

"Where are the results of the policy which sent them there? What 
did they gain what have their families and descendants gained 
by the ruinous outlay to which they were subjected ? With one or 
two exceptions, absolutely nothing but wasted means and saddest 
memories. " 


The grand highway of early years up Yonge Street, from Little 
York to the upper lakes, suffered a division into several branches when 
it reached Lake Simcoe. The traveller who embarked at Holland 
Landing could make for "The Narrows," or "Shingle Bay," or 
Hodge's Landing (Hawkestone), or Kempenfeldt, or "The Head of the 
Bay," from all of which places were trails leading across to Georgian 
Bay; and according to the traveller's destination, so was his course 
through Lake Simcoe. At an early date, Hodges' Landing, now- 
known as Hawkestone, took an important position amongst these 
landing places ; and many people landed there on their way into the 
northern part of Oro and into Medonte. So considerable was the 
influx at that point, about 1832, that Wellesley Richie, the Government 
Agent, remained with gangs of men on the Coldwater Road, at Bass 
Lake, to place new settlers on their lands, both those who came via 
Hodges' Landing and those who landed at "The Narrows." 

A colonization road into upper Oro was cut through from Hodges' 
Landing at an early date, and joined with the earlier route from 
Kempenfeldt to Penetanguishene, at Dalston of the present. The 
Hodges' Landing road soon became a feeder of the Penetanguishene 
Road, and owing to hills and the big swamp on the lower portion of 
the latter, it probably shared for a time as much as, if not more traffic 
than, the Kempenfeldt part of the same route. But in 1847, through 
the instrumentality of the Hon. W. B. Robinson, Commissioner of 
Public Works, and member of the Legislative Assembly for Simcoe, 

ORO. 143 

the Kempenfeldt-Penetanguishene Road was thoroughly cleared out to 
the width of sixty-six feet, and made passable for its entire length of 
over thirty miles. This step removed any further necessity for using 
the Hodges' Landing road. But, as late as 1851, we find the road 
distinctly marked on the county map in Smith's "Canada: Past, Pre- 
sent, and Future," which, however, might have been copied from some 
old map, as one map-maker copies from another. 

Hodges' Landing received its name from Richard Hodges, a 
native of England, who settled there in 1830, on lot 24 beside Lake 
Simcoe, and his son, William, born here in 1834, may also be classed 
among the pioneers. Capt. Davis settled on the east side of the 
Hawkestone Creek about the same time as Richard Hodges on the 
west side. 

Wellesley Richie, the Government Land Agent, built shanties for 
the emigrants newly arriving to go into the northerly parts of the 
township, on the west side of the stream. There was a trail from this 
Landing to the Rugby line, toward the northeast, by which the settlers 
reached their new lands in that quarter. 

S. M. Sanford, who had the first store in the county town, did 
not succeed in business there, and, with Capt. Bell, was one of the 
first to make a start in business at the Village of Hawkestone. They 
built a store on the east side of the creek at a short distance from the 
lake shore. The present wharf at the place was built by the Dominion 
Government in the year 1900. 

Another of the early settlers in the backwoods near Hawkestone 
was George Anderson, a native of the County of Tipperary, Irelan-d, 
who came to Canada in 1832, and after living in Toronto four or five 
years came to Oro and took up lot 18, con. IT. He died September, 

Still another pioneer was Peter Smith, who came from Islay, Scot- 
land, in 1834 and settled on lot 20, con. 12. He was a zealous church- 
man, having been an elder of the Presbyterian church during twen- 
ty-six years. 


As early as 1819, the project of settling negroes north of Lake 
Simcoe was under consideration by the Government, as it appears 
from the Dominion Archives Report for 1897, (State Papers, Upper 
Canada, p. 100), and we find the Davenports were located in Flos 


very soon after this early date. Accordingly we may infer that the 
African name of Oro was intended to signify the uses of the town- 
ship, according to the Government. The actual settlement, however, 
began about 1830, with commissioning Lieut. -Col. E. G. O'Brien as 
the Government Agent for locating the negroes. These were placed 
mostly along the second line of the township, which thus came to be 
called Wilberforce Street, in commemoration of the British philan- 
thropist. Particulars of these colored pioneers are scanty enough at 
the present day, yet a list of their names, so far as the writer has 
been able to glean them, may be of some interest : 

Luther Barber, lot 6, con. 3, (E. half). 

James Bush, lot 12, con. 5, (W. half). 

John Call, lot 21, con. 2, (1831 Patent). 

Daniel Caughly, lot 14, con. 2. 

George Darkman, lot 15, con. 2. 

John DeLay, lot E, con. 2. 

George Eddy, lot 24, con. 2. 

William Hartwell, (Daniel ?), lot n, con. 2. 

Caesar Hepburn (Hebron ?), lot 12, con. 4. 

Samuel Jackson, lot 12, con. 5. 

John Jackson, lot 3, con 2 (patent lot 4, 1828). 

Benjamin Johnston, lot 27, con. 2. 

William Leonard, lot 28, con. 2. 

Jeremiah Monro, lot 10, con. 5. 

John Neilson Morris, lot n, con. 4, (E. half). 

Noah Morris, lot n, con. 4, (W. half). 

Henry Montgomery, lot 29, con. 2, (a carpenter). 

Henry St. Denny (S't. Dennis ?), lot 26, con. 2. 

John Smith, lot n, con. 6. 

Edward Summer, lot D, con. 2. 

Although more than a score of these "darkey" families arrived 
and were "located," scarcely a quarter of that number of families 
exist in the township at the present day, the climate having proved 
to be too rigorous for them. In course of time many moved to more 
genial climes. Samuel Thompson, in his "Reminiscences," speaking 
of the period about 1833 says : "The inhabitants of the colored settle- 
ment were constantly at loggerheads with each other or with their 
white neighbours." 

ORO. 145 


At the Middle Crossroad, John C. Steele, the eldest son of Capt. 
Steele, of Medonte, settled at an early date on lot 16, con. 6. He 
was Reeve of Oro for a period of eighteen years (1859 to 1876, both 
years inclusive) continuously, and was Warden in 1875. Some 
Reminiscences of the early days of this county, written by him, 
appeared in the Orillia Packet in 1893-4, ar >d were unusually inter- 
esting. The post office maintained here in former years bore the name 
of Steele in honor of this well-known family. 

Some events and characters of the early days of the settlement 
along this Crossroad, have found places in the writings of Miss Mil- 
ler (Marion Keith). 

William Hatch, a native of England, settled on lot 14, con. 7, a 
mile from Steele post office of later times, in 1832, which lot was 
afterward owned by Joseph Harrison. Mr. Hatch brought a bag of 
sovereigns from England with him when he came, and found it use- 
ful in helping him through the pioneer days. His sons, Henry and 
Richard Hatch, carpenters, lived first near Guthrie, and Henry after- 
ward had a woodturning business in the county town. The first 
orchard in Oro grew from apple seeds which Mr. Hatch, sr. , brought 
from England and planted on the farm just mentioned. 

George Firth, a native of Yorkshire, England, also settled on 
lot 15, con. 7, in or about the year 1832. He was the inventor of a 
mouldboard for ploughs, which had a name in its day. His son, 
John Firth, lived for many years on the Penetanguishene Road, half 
way between Wyebridge and Penetanguishene, on lot 105, which 
came to be known as Firth's Corner. 


Near the Middle Crossroad and in the vicinity or East Oro, a 
number of families from England settled in the early years of the 
township's history. A few of these deserve passing notices. 

Joseph Pearce, a native of Yorkshire, located on lot 15, con. 7, 
about the same time as the last named settler. 

Three English families took up "locations" in con. 10 in 1831. 

Samuel Jermey, lot 12, con. 10. 

Henry Crawford, lot 14, con. 10, (W. half). 

Noah Cotton, lot 14, con. 10, (E. half). 


Of these, at least two were natives of Suffolk County, Jermey 
and Cotton. Mr. Jermey died February i, 1890, in his 82nd year. 
Henry Crawford and wife both reached advanced ages. Samuel Cot- 
ton, a son of this pioneer, died August 10, 1892, in his 86th year. 

John Leigh, another native of England, and his sons settled upon 
lot 16, con. 13, and this locality has always received the name of 
Leigh's Corners from this pioneer. 

William Baskerville and his sons, (Henry, James, John, Samuel 
and William), settled upon lots 14 and 15 (E. half), con. 13. 

In this part of the township there settled at a slightly later date 
(1841) Henry Creswicke, a man who afterward held the position of 
County Surveyor and had the supervision of public works for nearly 
forty years. He was born September 26, 1804, at Hanham Court, 
Bitton Parish, Gloucestershire, England, received his education first 
at Bristol, and then at Reading Grammar School under the famous 
Dr. Valpy. Mr. Creswicke first came to America in 1830, spent three 
years in Michigan, then returned to England and served as civil 
engineer on the Great Western Railway under some distinguished 
engineers. In the year 1841, with his wife and a small family he 
again came to America, at the request of Col. W. B. McVity and 
settled in Oro, on the west half of lot 15, con. 13. At the suggestion 
of Capt. J. JE. Irving, Warden of Simcoe District in 1843, he pre- 
pared for and passed his examination as County Surveyor, after 
walking from his home in Oro to the City of Kingston, which was 
then the seat of government. His first work as County Surveyor, 
to which office he was appointed by Government in 1843, was the 
laying out of the Sturgeon Bay Road, a work done under the govern- 
ment Board of Public Works. Among some of his other noteworthy 
works in the early years was the West Gwillimbury Plank Road, 
besides numerous other roads and bridges mentioned in the chapters 
on this subject, and with these may also be included the road (1852) 
from Holland Landing to Mount Albert. After residing in Oro for 
some years he moved to the county town, and besides being county 
surveyor, he was an auditor of the accounts for the administration of 
justice for many years. At the June session of the County Council, 
1881, Mr. Creswicke tendered his resignation as County Surveyor, 
and the Council accepted it, yet he was to retain his position until 
the end of the year 1881 and the office was to be abolished from that 
date. At the next session (in November), on the eve of his retirement 

John C. Steele, Oro, Warden, 1875. 


ORO. 149 

the Council tendered to him their congratulations on the successful 
and energetic manner in which he had discharged his duties as County 
Engineer and Surveyor for the unusually long period of 39 years. 
He died January 21, 1883, and at his funeral, on the 24th, the County 
Council, which was then in session, attended in a body, out of res- 
pect for his memory. Of his sons, Henry Creswicke, jr., was a -Pro- 
vincial Land Surveyor, and Alfred E. H. Creswicke is the County 


In 1835 there came to Oro a pioneer who had marked individu- 
ality of character, and who afterward held the position of Superin- 
tendent of Schools for the County. This was Henry Adolphus Clif- 
ford, a native of the vicinity of London, England. He received a good 
education in his young days, travelling two miles daily to an advanced 
school or college in London. Coming to Oro in 1835, he settled first 
on lot 27, con. 2. At a later time he moved from the farm to open a 
store at Dalston, and kept the post office when it was established, 
which was named after the suburb of London from which he came. 
He had a large share of the faculty of self-help, having learned some- 
thing of the trade of the bookbinder; he was also carpenter, wheel- 
wright, and shoemaker, and at a later time a photographer, too, hav- 
ing taken the photograph of himself from which the engraving that 
appears in this history was made. By his habits of thrift he acquired 
property, and at one time had as many as four farms in Oro. He was 
appointed Superintendent of Schools for Simcoe by the District Coun- 
cil in 1846, and served in this capacity until 1850 when the faulty sys- 
tem of having a superintendent of schools in each township was 
adopted. Mr. Clifford's reports on the schools of those early days, 
so far as they were printed by the District Council, show a remark- 
able grasp of the business with which he was dealing, and are preg- 
nant with weighty observations on the subject. When engaged 
inspecting the common schools of this district, he travelled on horse- 
back from one school to another, his inspectorate then including the 
present limits of Simcoe County as well as a considerable part of the 
present county of Grey. He was absent from home much of the 
time, and as there was a good deal of money in the house (because 
he paid the teachers, this being a very different system from that of 
the present day), it is said that Mrs Clifford had some fears for its 


safety. So one night when there was a little more than usual, she 
kept a large cauldron full of hot water ready at hand and boiling- for 
the entertainment of burg-Jars, if any of these should make her a visit. 
None came, however, for the hearty reception which she had prepared 
for them. In December, 1870, he moved to South Falls, Muskoka, 
(a few miles from Bracebridg-e), where he kept a store and built his 
own building-s, made his own plows, harrows, boots and shoes, 
etc., altog-ether proving- himself to be a handy man, and just such a 
one as could only thrive in Muskoka in its early days. He kept the 
store and post office at Muskoka Falls for 31 years, and died August 
5, 1901, 91 years of ag-e. 

Another early settler who took a leading- part in school matters 
in the early days of Oro was the Rev. Ari Raymond, who also lived 
in this part of the township. He taught school a mile west from 
Edgar of the present day, and started there the Congregational 
Church. It is said he was a clever kind of a Yankee, genial, kind, 
and at the time he lived in Oro was still young in years. He was a 
good carpenter, and a handy kind of man, generally. 

In the early days of Canada, with the exception of ministers of 
the established churches, no person could be regarded as a minister 
with a right to solemnize marriage rites until he had appeared before 
the Justices of the Peace in Quarter Sessions, with satisfactory proofs 
of his ordination. The records of the Quarter Sessions at Barrie 
show that Ari Raymond, Congregational Minister, on January 6, 
1846, duly produced proof of his ordination, and a certificate was 
granted to authorize him to solemnize marriages in accordance with 
i Wm. IV., Chapter i. 

Northward from the last mentioned, at the townline, Joseph 
Ellsmere, a native of County Down, Ireland, came to this county with 
his family, in 1832, and settled on lot i, con. 4, where they saw some 
of the rugged experiences of life in the wilderness. In the family 
were two sons, John and Joseph, who are also to be included in the 
roll of pioneers. 

One of the early settlers at Edgar was Robert Richardson, son 
of the pioneer who lived on the Penetanguishene Road, and who has 
been already mentioned. Another was Alexander Miller, a member 
of the Medonte family of that name. Mr. Miller had formerly taught 
school at Dalston, and at one time kept the post office at Edgar. 

Henry A. Clifford, County School Inspector, 


ORO. 153 


Several Highland families from Islay, Argyleshire, settled first on 
the "dry lots" in the northern parts of the township, because the land 
was dry and the forest easier to clear. But they soon found out their 
mistake, and removed to more fertile ground southward. 

Some of those who settled in the early years in the "dry lots" 
were the sons of Farquhar Bell, they having taken up lot 7, con. 8. 
His three sons, Gilbert, Duncan and Malcolm came from Scotland in 
1833, an d after living in the "dry lots," settled on lot 15, con. 8, on 
which the Township Hall was built at a later date. Another brother 
of theirs, Archibald, besides other members of the family, arrived 
later, (before 1846, however). Their sisters were Mrs. Donald Gal- 
braith and Mrs. Colin Gilchrist. Descendants of these families of 
Bell are numerous. The sons of Archibald Bell were Farquhar, Gil- 
bert and Duncan, one of whom (Gilbert) taught school and had a gen- 
eral store at East Oro, and at another time taught school at Shanty 

The Islay settlers in Oro and Nottawasaga brought various cus- 
toms to their new homes in Upper Canada from their native High- 
lands. None of these were so odd as the one they employed to full 
their home made cloth in their own homes at what they called "kick- 
ing bees." These unique "bees" in Oro have furnished the title given 
by James B. Steele to his story of "McLarty's Kicking Bee." 

The Campbell family were well known in the early days of Oro. 
Of these there were five brothers, Donald, Archibald, Alexander, 
Angus and John. The last named, (John,) settled in Thorah Town- 
ship, near Beaverton. 

This family came to Canada from Islay, in 1831. John Camp- 
bell, son of Donald, was in the milling business, and carried on a 
lumber mill at one period of his life. Two sons of Angus, viz., Dun- 
can and Neil Campbell, entered the Winnipeg College, and were 
well known citizens there. 

Perhaps the most widely known of the original family, were the 
brothers Alexander and Archibald, who were twins. These settled for 
a time near the head of Kempenfeldt Bay, and built the first house in 
Barrie. As they lived in the county town for the purpose of work- 
ing at their trade, they remained until 1844 or a little later, and 
removed to Oro, where they took up lots 17 on opposite sides of the 
same road, Alex, in the 4th concession and Archibald in the 5th. In 
11 (n) 


the family of Archibald, the sons were Archibald, Donald and Neil. 
Of Alexander's family, George, a member of the County Council for 
a number of years, Mrs. J. J. Brown (Barrie), and Mrs. Muir. These 
two pioneer brothers rest near each other in the graveyard of Guthrie 
Church. Archibald, born November 15, 1807, died December 21, 
1881 ; Alexander was the last of the five brothers to survive, having 
died October 18, 1887. 

The Currie family were also among the early settlers to arrive, 
having come in 1833. A part of this family, after living in Oro for 
a year, moved to Nottawasaga and became pioneers in that western 

After the Islay settlers left their first locations in the north part 
of Oro, extensive tracts of land, comparatively clear of stumps, were 
left uncultivated, and formed a wide common. Across this lonely 
stretch of ground, a settlers' road led to the northeastern parts of the 
township from Galbraith's Corner, diagonally to the next concession 
line. Around this dreary road some grim associations used to cling, 
for a story is current that about the year 1853, a woman walking to 
the home of her relatives to spend the Christmas holidays, was 
cruelly murdered in a lonely part of its course. The circumstances 
are narrated in a story which was written fcy Miss M. C. Ferguson, 
of Orillia, and which was awarded a prize in the Montreal Witness 
Story Competition, August, 1892. 

Duncan Gilchrist was one of the prominent settlers in the north- 
ern tract now under review. In 1813, Mr. Gilchrist had belonged to 
the volunteer coast guard in the west of Scotland, under the Duke of 
Argyle. He came from Bowmore, Islay, in 1834, with his family, 
landed at Hodges' Landing, and they made their way along the rough 
settlers' road and through the bush to lot 6 in the 8th concession, 
some two miles or more northwest of Galbraith's Corner. On the 
outbreak of the Rebellion of '37, he volunteered, and in the year 
after the Rebellion he was an officer in the volunteer company sta- 
tioned in the garrison at Penetanguishene. His sons, Colin, Duncan 
and Ronald, may also be included in the roll of pioneers. 

Prominent amongst those Islay settlers who remained on the 
Upper Crossroad and near it, until later years, were the brothers John, 
Angus and Donald Galbraith. John Galbraith, the inn-keeper, kept 
the widely-known tavern of pioneer days on lot 10, con. 9, at what 
became known as Galbraith's Corner. As this place was on the stage 
road from Barrie to Orillia, Mr. Galbraith and his hostelry were well 

lla (n) 



known to travellers, and it was a stopping-place of considerable 
notoriety in those early days. Mr. Galbraith was a councillor in the 
Township Council for some time. At this same corner, Knox Church, 
the pioneer Presbyterian place of worship in Upper Oro, was erected, 
and in it services were held in Gaelic down to a recent date. Some 
of the original settlers of this neighborhood never acquired the Eng- 
lish language, or did so very imperfectly. A large proportion of these 
settlers now lie in the churchyard where they attended services for 
so many years. 

Duncan McMillan and his wife, natives of Islay, settled in 1831, 
on the lot on which the church was built, and after living there a few 

Knox Church, Oro, erected 1844. (Present appearance). 

(By courtesy of the " Orillia Packet.") 

years he became dissatisfied with the scarcity of water, sold his claim 
to the farm for a cow, and bought a homestead near Jarratt's. This 
couple lived together during the unusually long period of sixty-three 
years of married life, the wife (Margaret McKerroll) dying first, on 
June 7, 1892, in her eighty-ninth year. 

The earliest settler on the townline of Medonte and Oro was 
Peter McPhie (McDuffie in the lists) who came in the twenties and 
settled on lot i, con. 9, Oro, near Coulson, when all around them 
was the forest wilderness. He was one of the very first of the Islay 
settlers to arrive in this country. He died in 1848. 



Oro furnishes an exception of considerable interest in the settle- 
ment of this county. Its earliest settlers were chiefly Highland and 
Lowland Scotch, especially in trie upper parts of the township, this 
fact having- been noticed by Dr. Thomas Rolph, whose Statistical Ac- 
count of Upper Canada appeared in 1836; and the general character 
of the settlers has been preserved -almost unchanged since the town- 
ship's first settlement. 

Other pioneers who "located" near the Upper Crossroad in the 
vicinity of Rugby in the year 1831 were : James and William Tud- 
hope, with their sons, Matthew Johnson, Henry Litster, William 
Rutherford, Donald Grant ; John, Angus and Donald Galbraith, and 
many others. 

The Tudhope families settled in Oro in 1831, James Tudhope, on 
lot 6 in the nth concession; and his son George, afterward clerk of 
the township, took up half of lot 6 in the i2th. 

They were natives of Lanarkshire, Scotland, and in the year men- 
tioned, .left the crowded districts of Scotland for the forest wilderness 
of Upper Canada. When George took possession of the lot opposite 
his father's, between Rugby and Jarratt's Corners, he married Miss 
Rutherford, a daughter of the pioneer of that name in the same 
neighborhood, and entered upon the task of clearing his land. He 
became the first clerk of the township when it received municipal 
organization in 1835, and was again clerk in 1836, i838-9~'4o, '41. At 
the beginning of 1857 he was chosen clerk once more, and held the 
office until his death, January 19, 1892, having occupied the position 
for forty-one years. He was also secretary of the Agricultural Society 
from its inception, retaining the position for many years. His son, 
Henry J. Tudhope, was chosen his successor as Township Clerk. 

Wm. Tudhope, Orillia, was another son of James Tudhope, sr. 
He became proprietor of extensive carriage works in Orillia, and his 
son, Jas. B. Tudhope, has represented East Simcoe in the Ontario 
Legislature since 1902. James Tudhope, who moved to the Town- 
ship of Wallace about 1854, and afterward until his death about Aug. 
i, 1894, resided in Listowel, was also a son of Jas. Tudhope. 

Wm. Tudhope, brother of James, sr., settled on lot 7, in the nth 
concession, and his son Walter took up, a year or two later, lot i in 
the 8th concession. 

ORO. 157 

Daniel Cameron (clerk of the township from 1842 to 1845) settled 
quite near Rugby in 1831. The families of McCallum, Robertson, 
Ormsby, Cameron, Donald McLeod, and Buchanan settled also in Oro 
early in 1831. 

The post office bearing- the name of "Rugby" was established 
August ist, 1860, the first postmaster being Walter Hunter, who 
afterward became a pioneer in the western part of Flos Township, in 
the neighborhood of Grassland post office of a later date. 

Nearer Jarratt's, the Islay people formed a settlement at an early 
date, as the land there was better supplied with streams of water than 
the parts passed earlier in this chapter. Alex. McLean came in 1831 
and settled on lot 3, con. 8. He died in 1875. His wife, Ann McPhie, 
came with her parents to Oro in 1834, and survived until January 
29, 1901, having reached the age of 91 years. James McKerroll with 
his family arrived in 1831 and took up lot i, con. 10. 

Hugh Reid settled near the same place in 1834. He attained the 
ripe age of 82 years, and died March 15, 1890. Duncan Reid, with 
his wife and five children, came from Islay in the fall of 1836 and 
took up lot 2, con. 9. 

John McLean settled upon lot 4, con. 10 (E. half), almost among 
the first to arrive in the neighborhood, and lived to a recent date, 
reaching the advanced age of 103 years. 

The brothers Clark came to this settlement in 1832, John Clark 
with his family having come in that year, and "located" near Jar- 
ratt's. Duncan Clark was Clerk and Treasurer of the township from 
1846 until 18556, both years inclusive. 

Some other settlers than the natives of Islay settled in this local- 
ity, in which may be mentioned John Hammond. He and his family 
passed through their full share of the hardships of pioneer life. 

Farther east, Charles Jarratt located on lot 15, con. 14, about the 
same time; while Rev. Charles Brough located also in 1832 on lot i, 
in the nth con. 

Carruthers in his "Retrospect," notes having visited Mr. Brough 
on September 17, 1833: "Called upon the Rev. Mr. Brough, of the 
Church of England, and during my stay with him I was much pleased 
with his conversation. He is labouring in the Township of Oro, etc., 
with much diligence in the Gospel." 

Mr. Jarratt's land having a good mill site upon it, an exchange of 
lands was made by these two settlers in the year 1835; Rev. Mr. 


Brough then proceeded to erect a mill which began operations shortly 
afterwards. Peter McCallum took up lot 6, con. 10, at an early date ; 
while his son, Daniel, who had previously attended Princeton College, 
joined him in 1840. 


In the year 1832, three or four pioneers with their families arrived 
in the wilderness south of Bass Lake, and began to subdue its wild- 
ness. These were the following. 

Joseph and Nicholas Langman, natives of Cornwall, England, 
who took up lot 6, con. 14. 

John Hardie of lot 6, con. 13. 

Francis Buchanan, lot 7, (W. half), con. 13. 

As already stated in this chapter, under the subdivision of 
Hawkestone, Wellesley Richie, the Government Agent for placing 
settlers on their lands, was stationed in 1832 near Bass Lake on 
account of its convenient position for the performance of his duties. 
(See also "Memories" of Rev. Thos. Williams, p. 47.) 

Chapter XI. 


From the first it was manifest to the traders and settlers of a 
speculative turn of mind that the Indian trading- post at The Narrows 
might naturally develop into a town at no very distant day. As already 
mentioned in our sketch of Hawkestone, or Hodges' Landing, the 
landing places along the north shore of Lake Simcoe were various, 
but all were continuative of the great trail across the isthmus of 
Hurontario. In the immediate vicinity of The Narrows there were at 
least three of these landing places ; the one on Lake Couchiching, where 
Orillia now stands ; The Narrows proper, where the scattered hamlet 
of Invermara marks the place at which the important trail leading 
to Port Hope crossed the waters of Lake Simcoe; while the third 
was on the shore of Shingle Bay. Hence it was no wonder that the 
first white occupants of The Narrows and its environs were divided 
in theii opinions as to the site of the coming emporium. 

Honore Bailly patented, on September i, 1826, five hundred 
acres in the vicinity of the town, viz., lots 10 and 12, in concession 
5, (200 acres each) and lot n, in concession 6, (west part, 100 acres). 
These lots were all beside the lakes, and were evidently selected on 
account of their proximity to the water. 

A great change has come over Orillia since the early fur-traders 
went among the Ojibways of the forests there at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. The first white settlers at the town as given in 
one account, were : Jacob Gill and family, Gerald Alley, Thomas 
Butcher and family, Captain Borland, Rev. Gilbert Miller, the Wes- 
leyan missionary ; Robert Bailey and family, and James Sanson and 
family in the fall of 1833. 

It is recorded that in 1833 Gerald Alley, who is said to be the 
first white settler, and who had arrived a year or two before this, 
was employed by the Government to instruct the Indians in farming, 
and in the autumn of that year superintended them in clearing a field 
adjoining Neywash Street, near the dwelling house erected by the 
government for Chief Yellowhead. 



Throughout Simcoe County, as in every county, the local his- 
torians have been the newspaper men, in almost every case. George 
H. Hale of the Packet has been an earnest worker in the early history 
of Orillia and its environs, and for many years the readers of the 
Packet have received the benefit of his historical work, especially in 
his notices of the pioneers, as one by one they were laid at rest. 
Some of his numerous sketches have proved helpful in the compilation 
of the brief pioneer notices which follow. 

So early as 1834, a few of the settlers made an attempt to 
establish a town at the landing place on Shingle Bay. An advertise- 
ment setting forth its good qualities appeared in the Toronto Courier 
that year, and it was called the "New Town of Innisfallen." 

Notwithstanding the eclat with which the Shingle Bay enterprise 
was ushered into existence, Innisfallen never matured beyond a few 
cabins on the shore and a place in the list of dead villages on Lake 
Simcoe. Orillia instead became the favorite trading point, and out- 
stripped the other landing places in the rapidity of its growth. 

Walton's Directory, composed near the end of the year 1836, 
furnishes a list of the settlers in Orillia at that time. On lot No. 9, 
concession 4, there were : 

Gerald Alley. 

Robert Bailey. 

Andrew Borland. 

Michael Bowers. 

James Dallas. 

Peter Lamb. 

J. M. Lawrence. (Larmour?). 

John J. Rowe. 

Nearer the shore on lot No. 9 in the 5th concession, were located 
Andrew Moffatt and Rev. Jonathan Scott, the Indian instructors. 
While on lot No. 10, in the 5th concession, also within the limits of 
the original village, were Jacob Gill and Leonard Wilson. To these 
names, another authentic list of the first settlers adds the name of 
Neil Morrison. 

The Town of Orillia, owing to its interesting history, and per- 
haps partly from being the headquarters of the Ojibways, has from 
time to time figured in Canadian literature. In addition to Mrs. 
Anna Jameson's sketch, referred to in another chapter, Charles Sang- 
ster's "Sonnets written in the Orillia woods, August, 1859," appeared 


-during 1860 in "Hesperus and other Poems;" and Dr. Scadding has, on 
various occasions, written at some length upon the town and its 
surroundings. The adjacent township was the birthplace of Mrs. 
Fanny Kelly, afterward of Kansas, who in 1864, while travelling 
across the plains to Montana in a waggon train, was taken captive 
by the Sioux Indians, with , whom she remained in captivity under 
severe hardships for five months. A Canadian edition of the "Narra- 
tive of Her Captivity" appeared in Toronto in 1872. Mrs. Kelly was 
one" of the Wiggins family, of lot 10, concession 2, South Orillia. 

By the year 1837, as it may be seen in the appendix, Orillia 
had a dozen or more white families, but there was little further increase 
until about 1841, when a fresh influx began, the effects of the rebellion 
having by this time been worn off. 

In Couchiching Park, Orillia. 

The white settlers petitioned the Government for a landing in 
1838, and received it. In the following year they sent another peti- 
tion asking the Government to remove the Indians to Rama, which 
was also done. Samuel Richardson, of Penetanguishene, thereupon 
surveyed the Orillia town plot in the same year (1839), the removal 
of the Indians to Rama having left the way clear for the inaugura- 
tion of a village and ultimately a town. 

A number of years passed before the citizens sought to become 
incorporated. At the session of November, 1866, the County Coun- 
cil appointed John C. McMullen as census enumerator for Orillia, 
with a view to incorporation. He found there was a sufficient num- 
ber of inhabitants therein to entitle them to incorporation, and the 
council thereupon passed a by-law for the purpose, appointing Frank 


Evans, barrister, as the returning officer for the first municipal elec- 
tion. The first reeve chosen for the new village was James Quinn, 
viz., for the year 1867. 

A historical sketch of Orillia, with illustrations, was printed by 
the Orillia Times in an edition of the Canadian Annual for 1895, and 
contained much interesting matter on the history of the place for the 
preceding sixty years. The Times also issued an illustrated souvenir 
number in 1906. There have been historical sketches and descriptions 
of the town also issued at various times by the News-Letter and by 
the Packet. The "Memories" of Rev. Thomas Williams, in the last 
named newspaper, contained many references to the early days of 

The Municipal Building, Orillia. 

Jacob Gill came to Orillia from Newmarket, and was the mill- 
wright in connection with the Indian Department. He had a family 
of fourteen children, nearly all of whom became residents of the dis- 
trict. He has been described as a very intelligent person, originally 
a citizen of New York State, who had emigrated to Canada from 
Albany and Troy, N.Y. 

A man of considerable prominence in the early days of Orillia 
was James Sanson, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who came to 
Canada in the fall of 1833 and settled in Orillia Township. After a 
short time at his first location, he moved to the place known as 


"Beechwood Hill," in the same township. He soon encountered some 
experience of pioneer life in the thinly settled district to which he had 
come, as some sheep which he had brought from near Toronto were 
destroyed by wolves. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1847, 
and as a magistrate was a peacemaker, doing his best to heal differ- 
ences. In May, 1852, he was appointed reeve of the township. At 
the beginning of 1853 he became warden of Simcoe County and held 
the office for four years. In 1854 he contested North Simcoe against 
Angus Morrison during the heat of the Clergy Reserves controversy, 
but was not successful. Shortly after he held the wardenship he moved 
into the Town of Orillia, where he resided at "Melville Lodge," and 
where he died April 12, 1874, aged 81 years. His wife, Mary Laing, 
who was a sister of David Laing, the celebrated author and anti- 
quarian, of Edinburgh, also died within a few hours of his death, 
both being buried at the same time. 

Of this family, the Rev. Canon (Alex.) Sanson had the charge of 
Little Trinity Church, Toronto, for about fifty years. And David 
L. Sanson was in mercantile business in Orillia for some time, and 
was twice mayor of the town ; he died in October, 1893. 

Andrew Moffatt, the Indian teacher and interpreter, was 
appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1843, and was a resident from 
the time of his arrival early in the thirties until his death in 1873. 
His wife was a Miss Manwaring, a native of Connecticut, who came 
to Orillia also as a teacher of the Indians in 1832, and was married 
to Mr. Moffatt in 1834. They continued teaching the Indians until 
the removal of the band to Rama five years later, after which Mr. 
Moffatt went into business in Orillia. She survived her husband 
until October 12, 1891, passing away at the advanced age of 82 years. 

One of the prominent men of Orillia in the early days was James 
Dallas, who was born in the City of Edinburgh in 1797, and emigrated 
direct to Orillia in 1835, taking up at this time the property upon 
which he resided up to the timerof his death, on June 9, 1872. In 
his native city he had been a baillie or alderman, and always took an 
active interest in public affairs. W. Chambers, in his "Memoirs," 
speaks of a man, afterward settled at Orillia, Canada, (referring to 
Mr. Dallas), who had given him, in the early days of his publishing 
enterprise, an order for bookbinding. Mr. Dallas was the represen- 
tative to the Home District Council in Toronto in 1842 from Orillia, 
a municipal body which met four times that year; and was also the 
representative from Orillia in the Simcoe District Council the following 


year, being succeeded in 1844 by Frederick Dallas. He was also 
appointed a magistrate in 1843, and at the end of the same year 
became warden of the county or district, as it was then called, his 
appointment having been made by the government. He continued to 
act as warden for a little more than a year, and then withdrew from 
municipal life. In his own local sphere he held various positions of 
trust, including that of President of the Orillia Mechanics' Institute, 
the Branch Bible Society and others. On his death the Orillia Packet 
spoke of him in these terms: "Although unobtrusive in political 
matters, whenever he perceived wrong or oppression, dishonesty or 
dishonour, he was always ready with voice or pen to uphold the right. 
He was a thorough gentleman, of the old school, and for nearly forty 
years his sterling character has given his opinions more weight than 
those of any other man in our community." When he died, in 1872, 
the County Council also placed on record its regret, speaking of him 
as a man known for his integrity and uprightness of character. 

Frederick Dallas may also be included among the pioneers. He 
also was appointed a magistrate in 1843, was District Councillor for 
Orillia from 1844 until 1849, and in 1841, or earlier, had erected on 
the stream at his place the pioneer industry known as the Orillia 

Rev. John Gray came to Orillia in 1851 to take charge of the 
newly established Presbyterian congregation, and in the beginning of 
the following year was appointed by the County Council as Township 
Superintendent of Schools for the townships of Oro and Orillia, a 
position he held for seven years. He was appointed Superintendent of 
the Oro schools in 1859 and in 1863-4. He was also a member of the 
Board of Education at various times, and took an active interest in 
the improvement of the methods of primary education, in addition to 
the work of his pastorate. 

Arthur G. Robinson, C.E., was for many years one of the well 
known citizens of Orillia, in which he resided (with occasional short 
absences) for sixty years. He was born in Ireland in 1817, received 
an education in Dublin for engineering and came to Canada in 1832 
with his father, Dr. S. Robinson, and a number of family connections, 
viz., the families of Blake, Brough, Hume, and others, some of 
whom settled in the vicinity of Orillia for a time. When Orillia was 
only an Indian village in 1832, he passed through the place, but 
shortly afterward returned to Ireland with his father. He returned 
to Canada the next year and spent his life as an engineer in the 




country of his adoption, with his headquarters mostly at Orillia. In 
1843 he married May, only daughter of Wm. Mulock, of the Cold- 
water Road. As an engineer he took part in the construction of the 
Lachine and Welland canals, the building of lighthouses on Lake 
Huron and Georgian Bay, the locks at Port Carling in Muskoka, and 
under the chapter on roads and bridges mention is made of some 
of his other works in this county. He died on February 24, 1894, 
aged 77 years, and his widow died a year later. 

Henry Eraser moved into Orillia from Price's Corners and began 
the erection of a large brick building for a hotel, but it was on too 
large a scale and before he finished it for that purpose, the Canadian 
Government, in the last months of 1857, or January, 1858, commenced 
negotiations for purchasing it for an asylum for convalescent lunatics. 
For some reason the sale or transfer did not take place immediately, 
so the project was helped along by the County Council, which initiated 
action in 1859 in reference to increased lunatic asylum accommodation 
for the Province. Other councils joined, and the crusade had a good 
effect, as the Government thereupon chose Orillia as the site of a 
branch asylum. By October, 1859, the sale had been completed, and 
the Convalescent Lunatic Asylum at Orillia became an established 
fact. It soon began to undergo enlargement and completion (in 1860) 
under the superintendent, Dr. John Ardagh, and Kivas Tully, of the 
Public Works Department, and the building thus erected for an hotel 
became the first asylum. It was three stories high, heated by steam, 
and had, with its two wings, a frontage of 118 feet, the verandahs 
being railed in with iron rods, which gave it an unique appearance. 
By 1866 the patients numbered 140, the official title of the institution 
being at that time the Orillia Lunatic Asylum for Chronic Patients. 
At a later time the Government transformed it into an Asylum for 
Idiots, and a large, new building was erected for the purpose, facing 
Lake Simcoe. 

H. R. H. the Prince de Joinville was in Canada in 1861, and in 
the course of his travels visited Orillia and other parts of the county. 
He was a son of Louis Phillippe, the ex-king of France, and in the 
American Civil War was attached to the Army of the North for a 

Amongst the arrivals in Orillia in the growing years of the early 
fifties was John Kean, who came in 1852 as a millwright from Brant- 
ford, and as he afterward took a prominent part in public affairs, he 
is entitled to receive some notice in this place. Mr. Kean was a native 


of Co. Antrim, Ireland, where he was born in 1820. He came to 
Canada in 1832 and settled in the Township of Nassagaweya, Halton 
County, where his parents had settled a few years previously. He 
became a millwright and in early days after coming to Orillia built 
saw and grist mills, some of which were : Marchmont, Washago, 
Penetanguishene, Muskosh, two near Orillia, and others. He was 
reeve of the Orillia Townships from 1862 until 1869, both years 
inclusive, and was warden of the county in 1868. In 1869 he became 
the senior partner in the firm of Kean, Fowlie & Co., which built the 
sawmills at Victoria Harbour and operated them until 1876. In 
1875 he was elected member of the Ontario Legislature for East 
Simcoe, over Hugh Sutherland, by a majority of 164, and represented 
the riding in the Assembly until 1879. In the winter of 1880 he was 
sent by the Dominion Government to Fort McLeod, N.W.T., to 
build a sawmill at Pincher Creek, and in 1883 became one of the 
pioneers of Lethbridge, Alta., where he built a small lumber mill for 
the Gait Company, and had charge of other enterprises, including the 
Northwestern Coal and Navigation Co. He died at Lethbridge, May 
31, 1892. His son, Mr. B. F. Kean, may be classed as one of the 
pioneers of Orillia, and also his brother Frank Kean, who came there 
to reside in 1854. 

Thomas Goffatt established a post for the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany at Orillia in 1862-3, an< ^ continued it for seventeen years, until 
all their posts throughout Southern Ontario were closed. 


In other parts of the township of South Orillia were the following 
early settlers : 

Frederick Dallas, lot n, concession 3. 

Paul Darling, lot 6, concession 2. 

John Finch, lot n, concession i. 

Antoine Godoir, (Gaudaur), lot n, concession 6. 

John Harvie, lot 9, concession i. 

Johnson, lot 10, concession i. 

William Kersop, lot 4, concession 6. 

William Mulock, lot 5, concession 2. 

Chas. Rowe, lot 5, concession i. 

James Sanson, lot 9, concession 2. 

William Sibbald, lot n, concession 5. 


Philemon Squires, lot 8, concession 5. 
St. Andrew St. John, lot 6, concession 5. 
John Thompson, lot n, concession 6. 

The opening of the Cold-water Road along the line of the ancient 
trail, in 1830, or soon afterward, afforded one of the most important 
arteries to the inflowing tide of settlement. Some settlers came at 
that time and located on either side of the highway. Amongst those 
who settled upon it in South Orillia in 1832 was Paul Darling, M.D. 
Dr. Darling was the first physician to practice in this section of the 
country, became surgeon to the Indian Department, married a 
daughter of Captain Hamilton, of Matchedash and Penetanguishene, 
and went to live in Manitoulin Island, when Captain T. G. Anderson, 
the Indian Superintendent, moved with 'the Indians to that island in 
1837. Dr Darling had also two brothers who were early residents of 
this township for a while in the early years of its settlement, viz., 
William, who became the Rev. W. S. Darling, for some time Rector 
of Holy Trinity Church, Toronto, and James Darling, who subse- 
quently moved to Pentanguishene, where he entered into partnership 
with W. B. Hamilton in a general store. 

John Finch, the third on the above list, was a native of England. 
He forsook the backwoods and entered the ministry of the Baptist 
denomination, having been located in Tollendal in later years. 

William Mulock came with his family from Banagher, Ireland, 
to the Coldwater Road in 1834, but found the transfer to the Orillia 
forests a great change indeed. One of his sons became the Rev. 
Canon (John) Mulock, of Brockville, Ont. , and afterward of Winnipeg, 

John Harvie, a native of Scotland, settled in South Orillia with 
his family in 1832, and different members of this family and their 
descendants have been prominent in the history of the township and 
the locality generally. The seven sons in this Harvie family were, 
in their order of age : John, Andrew, Robert, Charles, Alexander, 
William, Thomas. All of these, at one time or another, occupied 
farms of their own in South Orillia. 

John, the eldest son, became the well known stage driver from 
Barrie to Orillia in the early days before the railway, and at a later 
time was one of the proprietors of the stage line from Orillia to 
Gravenhurst. His son, John T. Harvie, was the representative of 
Gravenhurst to the Simcoe County Council in 1885-6-7. 

12 (H) 


Andrew, the second son, like most of the ; other members of the 
family, did much teaming to this settlement from Toronto in the early 
days, especially in winter, when the boats could not run. 

Robert, the third, about the year 1844, took up lot 8, on the 
second line, which was then a hundred acres of forest, and lived on it 
throughout his life, which closed April 14, 1890. 

The fourth son, Charles, made his first business venture by team- 
ing for the settlement to and from Toronto, before the days of the 
railroad. It required a week to make the round trip in those days, 
and for a period he brought all the merchandise required by the stores 
and all the settlers desired. His homestead was the west half of lot 9, 
concession 2, where he reaped his first harvest with a sickle and his 
last with a self-binder. He was an ardent agriculturist, did much 
to improve the quality of farm stock in his neighbourhood, his herd 
of shorthorns being the earliest ' in the district, and he was for many 
years an active member of the board of directors of the early agricul- 
tual Society at Orillia, his name appearing in the minutes of the 
society as long ago as 1847. At different times he filled the offices 
of vice-president and president of the society. He also took a prom- 
inent part in municipal matters, becoming a member of the township 
council at an early date, and in October, 1869, his name first appears 
on the roll of county councillors, as reeve of Orillia townships. He 
died September 25, 1891, having been connected with municipal affairs 
for about 20 years, and with public affairs generally all his life. His 
son, W. M. Harvey, is now sheriff of Simcoe County. 

Wm. Harvie, the sixth son, and the last survivor of the seven, 
died March 8, 1909. 

Alexander and Thomas, the remaining sons in this pioneer family, 
were also lifelong residents of the township. 

Three brothers, Charles, Stanhope and Basil R. Rowe, came to 
Canada about the year 1830. They were members of a Devonshire 
family, although immediately from London, Eng. In 1832, Charles, 
the eldest, came to Orillia and took up land beside Bass Lake for 
himself and brothers. For a short time, they resided at Holland 
Landing, but about the date just mentioned, came to Bass Lake. 
Basil, who was the younger of the three, was 16 or 17 years of age 
at the time of their arrival in the woods of Bass Lake. Subsequently, 
both Charles and Stanhope went to the United States, but Basil 
remained in South Orillia throughout his life. He married a daugh- 
ter of Captain Hamilton, of Matchedash and Penetanguishene. In 
]2a (n ) 


the early days of Orillia Township, Mr. Rowe was chosen township 
clerk, and held the office for a generation or more. His death took 
place on December 29, 1894. 

A few of the first settlers along the shore of Lake Couchiching 
in this township were half-pay officers, as also in Oro Township. In 
other words, the line of half-pay officers through Oro extended onward 
through South Orillia into North Orillia, and indeed into Rama on 
the opposite side of Lake Couchiching. Among those officers who took 
up lands in South Orillia were three mentioned in the above list, viz., 
Capt. Wm. Kersop, Capt. St. John and Capt. John Thompson. 

Chapter XII, 


A considerable number of the pioneers who located in North 
Orillia were from Ireland. Those who had settled in this township 
prior to 1836 are given in the following list : 

Robert Booth, lot 6, concession 3. 

J. Drinkwater, lot i, concession 3. 

Henry Eraser, lot i, concession i. 

Robert George, lot 2, concession 4. 

Thomas Golding, lot 5, concession 2. 

W. C. Hume, lot 2, concession i. 

Patrick Joyce, lot 5, concession 2 

J. Macgovern, lot 2, concession 2. 

John O'Connor, lot 2, concession i. 

Mara Patton, lot i, concession 4. 

John Pettis, lot 2, concession i. 

John Reece, lot 6, concession 3 

John Richard, lot 7, concession 2. 

C. Robinson, lot 5, concession 9. 

James Rout (Roote), lot 4, concession 4. 

Robert Taylor, lot 2, concession i. 

J. Thompson, lot i, concession 6. 

Wm. Wood, lot i, concession 7. 

John Wright, lot i, concession 3. 

At Marchmont, Robert Booth, a native of England, came here 
in 1835, and was followed by his family the next year. Here they 
continued until about 1849. Descendants of the family are still 
living in Orillia and surrounding district. Members of this family 
were George J. Booth, J.P., of Orillia, and R. H. Booth, of Bolton, 
Ont. , and later of Toronto, where he died August 19, 1890. 

A notable pioneer was Captain John Drinkwater, who settled 
on lot i, concession 2, in 1832. His sons, R. J. S. Drinkwater and 
T. H. Drinkwater became well known residents of the locality. The 
latter was well known as Captain of the 7th, or Orillia Company, 
of the 35th Battalion, for several years. 




Soon after the opening of the Coldwater Road in the thirties 
as a waggon road, Henry Fraser built a tavern at Price's Corners 
and settled down as a host to the numerous travellers along this road 
in the pioneer days. He had passed through the various gradations 
of settler, farmer and pioneer. At a later date, viz., in the fifties, he 
had a hotel in Barrie, and still later he built the large brick hotel in 
Orillia, as has already been seen, which was transformed into the first 
asylum. In the sixties he is found again at the county town, as the 
proprietor of the Exchange Hotel, but afterward withdrew into 
private life. 

In 1832, a number of family relatives, Blake, Brough, Hume, 
Robinson and others, came from Ireland to Canada, some of them 
settling in this vicinity for a time at least. Wm. Charles Hume, who 
is mentioned in the above list for North Orillia, was one of this group. 
He owned much land in the vicinity of Marchmont, was nearly related 
to the well known family of Blakes, of Toronto, was a half-brother 
of the late A. G. Robinson, C.E., of Orillia, and also related to Lord 
Marchmont, after whom he named the village where he resided for 
many years during the pioneer period. Mr. Hume returned to Ireland, 
where he lived, (in County Dublin), and died November 4, 1890, in 
the 86th year of his age. It is said that he was a fine specimen of 
the old Irish gentleman. 

Patrick Joyce, named in the list of pioneers, served for a number 
of years in the British army, and had fought under Wellesley, in 
his celebrated expedition to India. He had also served in Canada 
during the war of 1812-15. He returned from Ireland to Canada 
in 1832, and became a settler in North Orillia, where descendants of 
his reside to this day. His son, Henry Joyce, of lot No. 13, in the 
4th concession of that township, died December 21, 1889, aged 78 

As already stated, half-pay officers received grants in this town- 
ship, of whom Robinson, Thompson and Wood are noteworthy in 
the above list. Dr. Chas. Robinson, so long a resident of the Ardtrea 
neighborhood, settled here in 1832. Lieutenant Wm. H. Wood, of the 
44th Regiment, also settled at Ardtrea in 1832. 

In North Orillia, at the beginning, only the first two or three 
lots along the south side of the township received early settlers, 
in one case, at the west, as high as the seventh lot. But settlement 
gradually extended northward. 


During the severe bush fires of August and September, 1881, 
the township suffered damage in the conflagrations. And again, 
during the summer of 1887, extensive fires burned over and devastated 
large tracts of uncleared lands, especially in the eastern parts. To 
prevent the growth of obnoxious weeds and also to prevent fires in 
the future, the County Council sent a memorial to the Legislative 
Assembly asking it to procure grass seed for seeding the burned lands. 

Washago had its beginning in 1852, when Quetton St. George 
& Co. built a sawmill at the outlet of Lake Couchiching into the 
Severn River. On March 16, 1831, the Upper Canadian Legislature 
passed an Act for vesting the estates of the late Laurent Quetton St. 
George in W. W. Baldwin (i William IV., chap. 27). In the schedules 
at the end of this Act are printed lists of the lots and parcels of lands 
in Mr. St. George's estates. They include 2,500 acres in Medonte, 
800 in South Orillia, and 2,300 in North Orillia, besides smaller par- 
cels in other parts of this county. It is said that these extensive 
grants were made to the first Mr. St. George in order to encourage 
settlement through his services, if possible, but as it was usual in 
the days of Upper Canada before 1807 to grant 5,000 acres to each 
member of the executive council and other prominent men, with 1,200 
acres to each of their children, it may have been in some such way 
that Mr. St. George became entitled to the land tracts. Nothing 
came of the estate, however, until the dawn of the railway period on 
Lake Simcoe, when timbered lands acquired some value, and sawmills 
began to spring up in all directions about the lake. John Kean 
secured the contract for building the Washago mills in 1852, and 
the place thenceforth became the first of the new settlements to 
spring up in the parts north of Lake Couchiching. 

Two miles further north at Severn Bridge, the nucleus of a 
village arose with the construction of the Muskoka Colonization Road 
in 1857-8. Among the first settlers were William Johnson and James 
H. Jackson, who arrived in 1858. Mr. Jackson became the postmaster 
on the establishment of the office, January i, 1861, and was also 
chosen representative to the Simcoe County Council for Morrison 
Township in 1870, a position he continued to fill for twelve consecutive 
years, until 1881. Sawmills were not built here until after the open- 
ing of the railway in the early seventies, although the water power 
was equally good with other places on the Severn River. 

John Kean, Orillia, Warden, 1868. 



'. *i 

Enoch Bradley and 286 other ratepayers of North Orillia peti- 
tioned the County Council in June, 1893, for separation from South 
Orillia for municipal purposes, and the County Council thereupon 
passed a by-law for the purpose, but it was soon discovered that to 
do this required an Act of the Ontario Legislature. At the following 
session of the council in November, having had before them the 
opinion of the county solicitor on the illegality of the by-law, they 
came to the conclusion that it was illegal and passed another by-law 
to repeal it. 

Chapter XIII. 


Owing to causes which may be readily understood, Matchedash 
did not become settled at so early a date as other townships in this 
county. The first settlement was in the southwest corner of the town- 
ship, near the North River. The Matchedash Road from Cold water, 
up the east side of the bay, was surveyed and cut open in 1830, James 
Hamilton, jr., acting- as the surveyor. 

Captain James Matthew Hamilton of the 5th Regiment of Foot, 
drew 800 acres of land in Matchedash, and the family, of whom there 
were eight sons and daughters, moved there in 1831 and made a 
clearing near the North River, on lot 4, concession 3. On account of 
the rise of the water of Georgian Bay, which rises and falls periodic- 
ally, part of their lands became flooded, and the family some years 
after their settlement, left the place for Penetanguishene, where at 
least a part of them had been already residing. 

It is recorded that in 1845 there was only one settler in the 
township, but in 1850 the population had increased to seven. Between 
the years 1845 an< * ^50, Joseph S. Gill (lot 4, concession 3,) and 
the Lovering family arrived, and about the same time the Burrows 
family. Mr. and Mrs. Gill went into Matchedash, as settlers on the 
farm formerly held by the Hamilton family, when there was but 
one other settler in the township, and through perseverance estab- 
lished a comfortable home, which they called "White Oak Farm," 
and brought up their family of sixteen children. They celebrated their 
golden wedding September 5th, 1894. 

E. W. Ketchum and 54 other ratepayers of Matchedash petitioned 
the County Council in June, 1887, for the separation of the township 
from Orillia township, with which it had been theretofore connected 
for municipal purposes, and the County Council passed a by-law to 
effect the separation, to begin with January ist, 1888. The first 
reeve elected for the separate municipality was Oliver Burrows. 

After becoming a separate municipality, Matchedash had a better 
opportunity than before for internal development, with an eye single 
to its own interests. The roads in particular called for much attention. 
So far as roadmaking has proceeded in the township, an extra number 








of deviations are required to avoid obstacles, especially rocks. But 
the survey of Matchedash allows a sideroad at every third lot, and 
thus gives the township more roads to choose from in selecting those 
for construction, than in the cases of other townships southward. 

In January, 1885, before the separation from Orillia, the County 
Council had confirmed By-law No. 186 of Orillia and Matchedash, 
passed October 13, 1884, to establish a road on part of the line between 
the 3rd and 4th concessions of Matchedash. In June, 1889, the Coun- 
cil granted $100 to build a bridge over the North River in the 2nd 
concession, Matchedash. The Matchedash Council passed, in 1891, 
By-law No. 28, to avoid certain rocks on the allowance for road 
between the ist and 2nd concessions, by a deviation at lot No. n, 
and the County Council confirmed the deviation. 

Step by step the Matchedash Council has pushed the development 
of the roads into the interior of the township. In 1892, a bridge was 
built over the Black River in the 6th and 7th concession line. And 
in the same year, on December 15, the council passed a by-law to 
establish a deviation road on the 4th concession line across lots 10, 
n, 12 and 13, thus making a divergence on account of the obstacles 
presented by the Black River. 

The construction of the C. P. Railway through the township, and 
its opening for traffic in 1907, with the erection of stations at Lover- 
ing and Buckskin, have helped to open up the township more rapidly 
than before. 

Chapter XIV. 


Along the townline between Medonte and Oro a group of settlers 
came in 1832. Rev. Charles Brough (who was on the Oro side), 
Jas. Beard, Chas. Shire, Alexander McNab and William S'witzer. Of 
these, Beard and Shire arrived on July ist of that year, at Price's 
Corners. Shire and Switzer, who were both from Ireland, are said to 
have been the first settlers in this part of Medonte, Capt. Steele having 
arrived in the next month. During the first years of their settlement, 
there were but three monied men in that part Captain Steele, Lieu- 
tenant Wilson, and Dr. Drinkwater. These furnished work to the 
poor, yet industrious, arriving settlers, and their liberality was greatly 
appreciated by the pioneers on that account. The Indian mill at 
Coldwater began operations in 1833, and to it, in that year, Mr. Shire 
carried on his back a bushel of his first crop to be ground into flour. 
Mr. Switzer died January 24, 1893, aged 88. 

Archibald Reid, a native of Islay, Argyleshire, Scotland, was 
also another of the early settlers near Jarratt's Corners. He came 
to Canada in 1834 and settled, first in Oro, but shortly afterward 
removed to Medonte, to lot 2, concession 9, where he continued to 
reside until his death, on February 12, 1890. 

Further west, in concession 7, on lot i, George Walker, a native 
of England, settled in 1833. He had been a soldier before coming to 
Canada, and received this land for his services. His death occurred 
on May 24, 1888. 

One account states that the first settler in this part of Medonte 
was Samuel McClure, formerly of the i3th Light Dragoons, who with 
his family, and the family of a comrade soldier, named Ferris, had set 
out from Ireland for Canada in 1831, but Ferris had died of cholera 
at the quarantine station in the St. Lawrence River. Mr. McClure's 
stepson, James Quinn, afterward became the first reeve of Orillia 
Town, and took a prominent part in public affairs. 

The first person to make the beginning of a village at War- 
minster was Walter Barr, who built a tavern here on the Coldwater 
Road, and for some time it was the nearest stopping place to Cold- 


W. N. Rutledge, Medonte, Warden. 1877. 



13a (ii) 


Of "Captain" Steele, R.N., whose name was once a household 
word in Medonte and the surrounding townships, a brief biography 
is preserved in Morgan's "Sketches of Celebrated Canadians." His 
election in the spring of 1841 over Wm. B. Robinson for the County 
of Simcoe brought him into special prominence. 

Lot 10, concession 12, was the farm upon which Commander 
Elmes Steele, R.N., or as he was more familiarly called, "Captain" 
Steele, originally settled, and which his family called "Purbrook." 
Commander Steele, as already intimated, was the member of the 
old Canadian Parliament for the county during the years 1841-4, and 
for some time was Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia of the county. 
John C. Steele, his only son by his first wife, after having gone through 
a term as pioneer at this Medonte settlement, at length settled in 
Oro, became reeve of Oro for several years, and was warden of this 
county in 1875. He contributed some interesting reminiscences of 
pioneer days to the Orillia Packet in 1893-4, written from his resi- 
dence in Coldwater, to which he had retired some years ago, having 
been appointed Division Court Clerk. Another son, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Samuel B. Steele, made his first entry into active military 
life in the Northwest Mounted Police about the time of the formation 
of the force. Still more recently he had command of Lord Strathcona's 
Horse in South Africa (1900-2) during the later period of the Boer 
War, and afterward served in the permanent South African service. 
James B. Steele, another younger son in this well known family, has 
long resided at Beaver Lake, Alberta, and has written some inter- 
esting sketches of the early days in Simcoe County, as well as of the 
district in which he resides. 

The Rev. George Hallen came to Medonte in 1835, as the pastor 
of St. George's, and bought from a settler named Bywater, lot No. 
n, concession 13, on which there was a log house when the Hallen 
family arrived in this locality. In 1840, Mr. Hallen removed per- 
manently with his family to Penetanguishene, where he became 
chaplain to the establishment, and was the first rector of old St. 
James' Church, which was dedicated by Bishop Strachan in 1842, 
although built two or three years earlier. In the cemetery of St. 
James' Church now rest the remains of the Rev. Mr. Hallen, who 
died in Toronto in 1882, and also some members of his family. He 
was one of the first to take an active interest in the history of the 
immediate district in which he lived, and aided with his pen the 


the advancement of historic work. At one time he thought of buying 
the land on which the Old Fort at the Wye River stands, and took 
a surveyor to the place for the purpose of locating its position cor- 
rectly and making maps of the fort and its surroundings. The 
valuable, early maps thus due to his exertions were reproduced in the 
writer's report on the historic sites of Tay Township, through the 
courtesy of his son, Edgar Hallen, of Orillia. Preston Hallen and 
Richard Hallen, other sons of the pioneer clergymen, were also well 
known residents of Orillia in late years. 

Lieutenant George Wilson, R.N., settled on lot 14, concession 
n, early in the thirties. He was chosen representative for the united 
townships of Medonte and Matchedash to the Simcoe District Council 
for 1843, but during that year he received the appointment of 
Collector of Customs at Sault S'te. Marie, and resigned the office of 
councillor. His son, William Wilson, became the occupant of the lot 

Captain Thomas G. Anderson, the Indian agent, came to Cold- 
water in 1830. He received a grant of several hundred acres on the 
Coldwater River, extending for some distance from the village up the 
river, built a log house on it and moved his family to it from Pene- 
tanguishene. His estate was in the flat lands or swamp near the 
Coldwater Road, and from the nature of the soil he called it "Clay- 
fields," which he sold to Wm. Noble Rutledge at a later time. While: 
here he superintended the cutting of the Coldwater Road to Orillia, 
and the erection of houses for the Indians along "Indian Hill." He 
kept the Medonte post office in its first years, being its first post- 
master (1834-8). His wife was a daughter of Captain James Matthew 
Hamilton, some time of Penetanguishene. In 1837 the Government 
transferred him to Manitoulin Island at the time the Indians were 
located there, and shortly afterward he moved his family to the 
Island. His son, Rev. G. A. Anderson, of the Mohawk Reserve, Bay 
of Quinte, died March 12, 1896. Volume VI. of the Ontario Historical 
Society's "Papers and Records" contains an article on Captain T. 
G. Anderson, with much family history. Captain Anderson himself 
also kept records and diaries of some parts of his life, and these have 
been published in the Orillia Packet, and in the Wisconsin Historical 
Society's Collections. 

The Indian mill at Coldwater was built by Jacob Gill, a mill- 
wright who was familiarly known in that section for many years. 

[189] . 



,He has been already mentioned under the head of Orillia, where he 
resided on first coming to the locality. Amongst other early persons 
in that section was William Rawson, who came from Drummond 
Island with the migration of 1828, and afterward lived in Price's 
Corners for some years, becoming familiar to the Medonte settle- 

Joseph Craddock also came from Drummond Island in 1828 with 
the migration of soldiers and attendants, and lived for a short time at 
Penetanguishene. He came to Coldwater in 1830, received a grant 
of 50 acres of land (the southwest quarter of lot 23, concession 12) 
on which he resided till his death. (See Mr. A. C. Osborne's paper 
on the "Drummond Island Voyageurs," in Papers and Records of the 
Ontario Historical Society, Volume III.) 

Another early settler at Coldwater was William Grouette, the 
government interpreter at the Indian agency here. He received a 
grant of lot 22, concession 13, in the early thirties. 

John Borland came first to Coldwater in 1828, and resided here 
permanently from 1841 onward. He was a son of Captain 
Borland, the fur trader, and was also among the first in the district. 

Another well known settler of Coldwater, at a slightly later date, 
was George Caswell, who acquired the government mill there, and 
was one of the central figures of the place for a number of years. 

Coldwater was made a Police Village in November, 1897, by a 
By-law of the County Council. 

Edmund Moon was an early settler, having taken up lot 15, con- 
cession 9, when around him was the wilderness. He was first 
appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1847, and was postmaster of the 
Medonte post office after 1838, the post office here being named 
Moonstone, after him. Henry and George Moon also arrived early. 
Many descendants of these pioneers now live in this part of the 

John Carthew, a brother of Colonel Arthur Carthew, of Hawke- 
stone, was a well known early settler in Medonte, having drawn lot 
17, concession 10, as part of the land grant for his services. 

In concession 6, Robert and Alexander Miller took up lots 12 
and 13 at an early date. Robert Miller was first appointed a Justice 
of the Peace in 1857, and in various \vays took part in the public 
affairs of the township. 


William Thompson came from Ireland to Canada in 1832, and 
took up lot 10 in the 7th concession. His only son, also named 
William, lived here throughout his life, which closed April 28, 1892, 
in his 8oth year. 

John Fowler arrived in 1832 with his family and took up lot 8, 
concession 8. Alex, and Joseph of this family may also be classed 
as among the pioneers. 

At Mount St. Louis a few settlers located in 1832 and shortly 
afterward. One of those who came in 1832 was John P. Hussey, who 
kept a store and post office at Mount St. Louis, of which he was 
appointed the first post master in 1857. 

Charles Fitzgerald also came in the same early period to that 
neighbourhood. John Fitzgerald, of the same family, was the first 
deputy-reeve of Medonte in 1872, and held the position for four years, 
being also a township councillor at other times. He died April 4, 1890, 
in his 64th year. Although he had begun life with scanty means, by 
industry and perseverance he prospered and became comfortably 
well off. 

A little further west, John Yates settled upon lot 53, concession 
2, in the same early period. 

Chapter XV. 


With the Township of Tay, and the neighbouring- inlet of Glou- 
cester, Sturg-eon, and Matchedash Bays, a historic locality is reached. 
From very early times the large estuary between Christian Island 
and the rocky Muskoka shore was known in a general way as Glou- 
cester Bay, and was regarded as an important branch of the route to 
Lake Huron. Modern usage has applied the name of "Gloucester" 
to a smaller offshoot of the original bay. 

As might naturally be expected the first settlers in Tay were, or 
had previously been, connected with Indian trading. This had been 
the occupation of Michael Macdonnell, the earliest pioneer of the town- 
ship, who located upon lot 101, con 2. In 1816 he had entered the 
service of the Hudson's Bay Company when he was quite young, 
became an officer in the service of the same Company, and acted as a 
kind of private secretary for Lord Selkirk, when that nobleman was in 
Canada. For three years he was connected with Lord Selkirk and the 
Red River Settlement. But he returned to his native Ireland for a 
while (1820-1), and during this time Lord Selkirk died. Lady Sel- 
kirk appreciated Mr. Macdonnell 's services in behalf of her husband, 
with whom he had been intimately associated in the Red River. Soon 
afterward Mr. Macdonnell again returned to the fur country, but the 
two companies had amalgamated, and he did not like the new regime, 
so he resigned his position and took to the life of a civilian. It is 
recorded (Mr. Osborne's Drummond Island Migration, p. 140) that 
he came from Drummond Island in 1826. Another account states 
that he finally settled in Tay in 1829, having then acquired the estate 
at the place named. Both of these dates are probably correct. He 
was squarely built and of medium size ; and from a fantastic custom 
of wearing his hair or perhaps from some artificial wig, the settlers 
called him "Wiggie" Macdonnell to distinguish him from John 
McDonald, the other fur trader. 

Samuel DeBurgh Frazer came from Ireland to Tay in 1839, his 
mother having been a Miss Macdonnell, sister of Michael Macdonnell 
just mentioned. He acquired the estate of his uncle, or at least a 
part of it, and became one of the most prominent men of Tay for 



many years, being known as "Squire" Frazer. He was the represen- 
tative of Tay in the Simcoe District Council in 1848-9, and on the 
united townships of Tiny and Tay becoming entitled to a reeve of their 
own in the Simcoe County Council in 1851, he became their first reeve 
and occupied the position for six years. Again, in 1869, when Tay 
was separated from Tiny, he became the first reeve of Tay and was 
elected for succeeding- years until 1874 (inclusive), and again in 1878 
he was elected. During the last named year the incorporation of 
Midland as a village was effected, and he became its first reeve in 
1879, also filling the position in the following year. In 1881-5 he 
was again reeve of Tay, and retired from public life at the close of 
this period, after being the chief officer of one municipality or another 
for 22 years, although never receiving election to the warden's chair. 

The first settlers in the south parts of Tay came from Durham 
County in the late sixties and early seventies. One of the earliest of 
this numerous colony from Manvers and adjacent townships was 
Robert Webb, who came to the west half of lot 3, concession 5, in 
1865, when the valleys and hills to the north of him were all a wilder- 
ness, and he continued to live on it until about 1887. 

Tay contained comparatively few settlers until the building of 
the Midland Railway. The township was not a separate municipality 
until 1869, but was connected with Tiny for municipal purposes until 
that year. It appears, however, that it had the required number of 
names on the assessment roll (100 resident freeholders and household- 
ers) for some years before that time, to entitle it to get separation 
from Tiny ; but, owing to some difficulty in the Municipal Act, real or 
alleged, there was some doubt as to the power of the County Council 
to pass the necessary By-law, until June, 1868. 


Peter Burnett surveyed the original town plot of Midland in 1872 
and 1873. It is a ^ so on record that A. C. Thomson made surveys 
about the same time on lots 107 and 108, concession 2, Tay, for build- 
ing lots. A place named Everton had been surveyed on lot No. 1 1 1 , 
concession i, Tay, in the year 1853, but it did not materialize, and 
it is worthy of note that since the erection of the smelter on the 
northwest side of Midland Bay, and the consequent rise of houses in 
that part, the real estate transfers have reverted to the original plan 
of Everton, which had not been used for about half a century. 

H. H. Cook, Midland, M.P. for North Simcoe, 1872-8. 


TAY. 197 

The Bay was called Mundy's Bay in former years, from the first 
settler, Asher Mundy, whose land (lot 112, con. i) extended from the 
Penetanguishene Road almost to the harbour which was selected about 
November, 1871, as the proposed terminus of the Midland Railway. 
Midland's first years appear to have been checkered by the trans- 
actions of rival real estate dealers, as at every other railroad terminus. 
Harkley's Swamp at the west end of the town was a troublesome place 
to bridge, and was the burial place of numerous grants of money for 
road-making purposes. 

The first merchants in the place were N. Courtemanche, Thomas 
Gladstone (who also started a hotel), and H. Sneath. The post office 
was opened in September, 1872, Mr. Gladstone being appointed the 
first postmaster. 

Cook Bros, commenced the erection of the first sawmill during 
the winter of 1871-2, and finished it in the following summer. Of 
this well known firm of lumbermen, H. H. Cook, was a member. He 
was first elected M.P. for North Simcoe over D' Alton McCarthy in 
1872, and afterward became well known in public affairs, having been 
engaged in eleven political contests at one time or another in some 
part of North S'imcoe. 

Chew Bros, erected a steam shingle mill a little later, and also 
erected other mills in subsequent years. 

As the place grew in size, the need arose for incorporation. At its 
session in June, 1878, the County Council passed a By-law appoint- 
ing Jordan Cronkhite census enumerator, and laid the matter over 
till the October session for further consideration. By October, Mr. 
Cronkhite's census showed that the proposed limits of the village 
contained 836 inhabitants, and accordingly the Council passed a By- 
law to incorporate it as a village. The limits stated in the By-law 
of incorporation were the east halves of lots 105, 106, 107, 108, and 
109 in the ist concession of Tay, and the west halves of lots 105, 
106, 107, with the whole of lot 108, in the 2nd concession, making 
a total of 469 acres. The first municipal election was to be held in 
McFarland's Hall, and Alex. Paterson was appointed returning officer. 
At the first election, Samuel Frazer was chosen the first reeve for 


The sketch of the rise of Midland which appears in Belden's Atlas 
(published in 1881) is fairly complete and ought to be consulted by 
anyone desirous of possessing all the particulars that can be obtained. 
The writer of that sketch, Clarence W. Ashford, (afterward the Hon- 


curable Clarence VV. Ashford of the Hawaiian Islands) had been 
connected with the staff of surveyors and civil engineers on the con- 
struction of the Midland Railway, and from his own personal know- 
ledge of the early days of Midland, he was in a position to write the 
sketch referred to. It reflects severely on the operations of the Mid- 
land Land Company, which transacted a real estate business at the 
beginning- of the place. The Ontario Legislature passed, in March, 
1872, an Act to incorporate the Midland Land Company, as 35 Viet., 
C. 97. And in 1882, the Legislature also passed a further Act to 
amend the original Act incorporating the Company, as 45 Viet., 
c. 77. 

With the growth of Midland, it obtained sufficient population 
to entitle it to incorporation as a town in 1887, which it became in 
due course of time, with J. B. Horrell as the first Mayor, and W. H. 
Bennett as reeve. 


In the year 1869, John Kean, of Orillia, with W. D. Ardagh and 
Richard Power, of Barrie, and Albert Fowlie, of Orillia, formed a 
partnership as Kean, Fowlie & Co., and built an extensive sawmill 
to the east of the Hogg River outlet. The place now became 
known as Victoria Harbor, having been hitherto called Hogg's Bay 
more frequently. The firm of Kean, Fowlie & Co., operated the saw- 
mill here until the year 1876, when a change took place in the firm. 

One account states that a military officer had a pioneer sawmill 
at the mouth of Hogg River at a much earlier date than the Victoria 
Harbor mill above mentioned, probably the one marked as McNab's 
on Gibbard's map of 1853. Other mills here at later times were those 
of Nickerson Bros. , and John McDermitt. 


Top row, left to right : John MacKay, Geo. W. Bruce, Thos. 
Trueman (auditor), Lieut. -Col. R. T. Banting (clerk), Chas. Wright, 
Jas. Ross, R. H. Jupp, Chas. E. Hewson, Arthur Craig (Treasurer), 
Richard Graham. 

Middle row, left to right : D. M. Harvie, R. H. Hunt, Daniel 
Quinlan, Thos. Hammell, W. H. Hamilton (Warden), P. Ronan, H. 
S. Ruby, Robt. Thorpe, J. W. Leatherdale, Robt. Murphy. 

Front row, left to right : M. N. Stephens (auditor), Joseph White- 
side, J. A. Jamieson, Alfred W. Beardsley (messenger). 


TAY. 201 


Thompson's sawmill at Sturgeon Bay, erected in 1848 or a little 
before, is supposed to be the first in this township, and was situated, 
as Gibbard's map of 1853 shows, fully a mile up the Sturgeon River. 
The road had been opened to Sturgeon Bay from Coldwater in 1843-4, 
and the terminus on the Bay became a busy port, marked "Tay Port" 
on the map above mentioned, with steamers and other vessels mak- 
ing regular calls. W. H. Tanner acquired or built a mill here in 1873, 
and the place assumed the name of Tannerville. The survey of Port 
Powell here in 1846 has already been noted in chap V., Vol. I. 

Near Fesserton, Benjamin Dusong settled about 1840, and passed 
his life in the neighborhood. His death occurred January 8, 1890. 
Across the water from Fesserton, Mr. Cowan, the fur trader, estab- 
lished a trading post in the eighteenth century, as it has been already 
stated in the chapter on the early fur traders (Vol. i, chapter 3). The 
remains of his post have been known as the "Chimnies." 


The first clearing at this place had its origin about the time the 
Government built the grist-mill and houses for the Indians at Cold- 
water in 1832-3. From the Narrative of Michael Labatte recorded by 
Mr. Osborne it appears (p. 140) that Labatte was sent by the Govern- 
ment to clear the land at Waubaushene for the Indians at the time 

William Hall erected a sawmill here, the date being recorded 
as 1851. The Georgian Bay Lumber Company acquired the land 
here at a later time, and erected an extensive sawmill. 

The project of building a swing bridge across the Narrows of 
Matchedash Bay at Waubaushene was mooted at an early time. In 
January, 1882, the County Council petitioned the Ontario Government 
for a grant of money to assist in this work, as settlers, lumbermen 
and others then had to travel some 25 miles to reach a point not more 
than two miles from Waubaushene. Nothing having come of the 
request, the Council renewed the application in November, 1885, and 
the question then fell through. The settlers of Baxter, Matchedash 
ahd a part of Tay were labouring under a great disadvantage in hav- 
ing to travel around Matchedash Bay when they wanted to reach 
Waubaushene. In those townships, as the last named petition set 


forth, there was a large tract of land, the settlement of which was 
retarded for want of proper means of communication. 


It is recorded that a Mr. Stone built the first sawmill at Port 
Severn before the erection of the one at Waubaushene, although it 
is marked as Sanson's on Gibbard's map of 1853. In 1857, Alex. R. 
Christie purchased this sawmill, and it was carried on for some time 
under the name of Christie & Co. The other partner was Andrew 
Heron of Niagara-on-the-Lake, where Mr. Christie had carried on a 
general store prior to purchasing the Port Severn mill. Their mill 
was twice burnt to the ground, inflicting heavy losses upon them. 
They rebuilt and enlarged it, and in 1872 sold it to the Georgian Bay 
Lumber Company. 

Along the townline between Tay and Matchedash, which was 
opened out as a road for some distance northward at a comparatively 
early date, an early settler on the Tav side was Walter Lawson, 
whose name is given to Lawson post office, of which he was the first 

14a (n) 

Chapter XVI. 


At the distance of a few yards to the west of the railway depot 
was the old landing- place, to the existence of which the present town 
owes its rise. This was the southeastern terminus of the trail known 
as the Nine-Mile Portag-e, leading- to Willow Creek and thence by 
canoe down the Nottawasaga to the open waters of Georg-ian Bay. 
Any reference to the early history of the town would be incomplete 
without giving- prominence to this Portage, and the important part it 
played in the early years of the igth century. 

It is impossible now to ascertain just when this portage was first 
opened. It dates back into the i8th century perhaps earlier and 
was a portage over which the Indians used to carry their canoes. 
Toward the close of the war of 1812-15, it was widened so that sleighs 
and wag-gons could cross it, to transport supplies to the Government 
posts of the upper lakes especially Fort Michilimacinac at the entrance 
to Lake Michigan. 

Some writers have stated that the first house built in the town was 
the Government storehouse erected near the railway station, but it 
would appear that no storehouse existed until the year 1819. During 
the war Sir Georg-e Head was sent to Canada to superintend the 
commissariat duties of the proposed naval establishment at Pene- 
tang-uishene ; and in the spring- of 1815 he was temporarily dwelling 
in a cabin at Kempenfeldt, but resolved to move his quarters to the 
head of the bay the site of the present town. For this purpose he 
set at work to build a dwelling some French-Canadians, who were 
of the small detachment of men stationed with him. This log house, 
built by the military officer, Sir George Head, appears, then, to have 
been the first building on the site of Barrie, of which we have any 
record. Probably it was soon destroyed, but what became of it is 
apparently not recorded. At all events the want of suitable accom- 
modation at this terminus of the portage became seriously felt. The 
removal of the garrison from Nottawasaga to Penetanguishene, in 
1818, increased, too, the need for better accommodation. 



The Government, therefore, in the autumn of 1819, as nearly as 
can be ascertained, built two store-houses, one at the Willow Creek 
end of the portage, the other at Barrie. The latter, which was a 
log- structure, besides being- a depot for military supplies in transit 
to the posts on the upper lakes, also served to shelter the settlers and 
their effects bound for the neighboring- townships. This military post 
at Barrie as it is said, was protected and supplied for a few years by 
an armed schooner on Lake Simcoe, kept in commission by the John- 
son family of Holland Landing. Traders, settlers, and Indians passed 
and repassed this depot in considerable numbers during the period 
now under review. The Rev. Thomas Williams, when about 14 years 
of age, was employed on this portage in 1824, with Alex. Walker, 
and has given some account of it as it then was in a flourishing condi- 
tion in his "Memories," Nos. 3, 4 and 5. Commodore Barrie, after 
whom the place was named, and who was commander of the British 
war vessels at Kingston for some time, passed through in June, 1828, 
while on a tour of inspection to the various naval depots on the upper 
lakes. (Scadding's "Toronto of Old," p. 565.) 

Andrew Borland, the Indian trader, patented part of the town 
site of Barrie, on March 9, 1827, viz., the W. part of the E. half of 
lot 24, con. 4, which was afterward known as the "Berczy Block." 

The Government storehouse already referred to, which stood on 
Marks Street, immediately in the rear of the railway depot, was situ- 
ated upon a military reserve of forty-five acres, bounded on the west 
by Bayfield Street and on the east by Berczy Street. After serving 
as a storehouse for some time, it was abandoned by the authorities, 
and was used as a dwelling for about three years by David Edgar, the 
second person to locate upon the site of the town. When it became 
evident, about 1830, that a town was arising at Kempenfeldt, the 
Government disposed of its reserve at the head of the bay to Captain 
Oliver; (west half of lot No. 24, con. 4), but at the end of two years, 
for some reason, the Captain re-sold it to the Government, which 
thereupon surveyed it into town lots, the instructions to Deputy-Sur- 
veyor Hawkins being dated April 6, 1833. Several persons immedi- 
ately located upon the new town site, and its existence may be said to 
date from that year. The Government had built shanties along Dun- 
lop Street for settlers, in the -spring of 1832. Prior to 1832 the only 
settlers were David Edgar and Alex. Walker, but during the next 
three years the influx of settlers was considerable. From Walton's 

VESPRA. 205 

Directory for the year 1837, we learn the names of the heads of 
families in the place at that time. 

The completed list of about three dozen settlers may be found in 
the Appendix to this volume. Some account of each settler was col- 
lected by the Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society and was 
printed in No. i of the Society's Pioneer Papers. 

Alexander Walker, the first settler to locate at the place, was a 
plain Scotch farmer, who had taken to himself as wife, Miss Betsy 
Sweezy, of Holland Landing-. Their earliest house keeping- experi- 
ences after locating at Barrie were in a dwelling which was little bet- 
ter than a barn ; indeed the building was afterwards used as a barn. 
In June, 1830, a party of visitors from Yonge Street called on the 
Walkers, while they were dwelling in their primitive fashion. In 
keeping with the hospitable customs of the day, the party, although 
strangers, were invited to take a meal, which for the main part con- 
sisted of a homemade cake baked outdoors in the ashes of the fire 
kept burning in the yard for domestic purposes. The domicile-barn 
in which Mr. Walker spent his first days in Barrie was situated a 
short distance northeast of the Government storehouse. That 
autumn (1830) he built a house farther up the hill. He patented on 
September 26, 1833, the E. half of lot 21, con. 4, Vespra. The family 
of Mr. Alex. Walker consisted of four children. For a few years 
afterward he and his family were residents of the town. He moved 
from Barrie in 1838, and in subsequent years he became a lock tender 
on the Welland Canal. 

David Edgar, the son of a U. E. Loyalist, was a large, fine-look- 
ing man, but as teetotalism had not then penetrated into the Can- 
adian backwoods, he grew partial to whiskey, and latterly became 
quite dissipated by it. He had married a young lady of the Town- 
ship of Ernestown, (Addington County), or nearer Napanee, the only 
daughter of an Irish gentleman named Sharp. In fact, the match 
was a runaway, and displeased her father greatly. The young couple 
came to Barrie, and took up their abode for at least three years in the 
deserted log storehouse erected by the Government. Then he 
obtained on November 21, 1833, a patent for the east part of lot 24, 
con. 5, (60 acres) just west of Bayfield Street, and upon it, erected a 
house on Toronto Street of the present, to the south of Elizabeth 
Street. He had once contemplated building a house on the site of the 
present Post Office building, for which he dug the cellar, and erected 
the frame only, but made no further progress with the work. The 


foundation of this structure was discovered while excavating- for the 
basement of the Post Office building-, in 1884. The frame of this pro- 
jected building was removed by Thrift Meldrum to a site further east 
(north-east corner of Poyntz and Dunlop), and used as a tavern for 
many years. Mr. Edgar's wife and family were dwelling in Barrie at 
the time of his death in 1840, but subsequently removed to Belleville. 
There she resided for many years afterward, but had found her father 
and mother dead. Mr. Sharp had been induced, in his later years, to 
enter a speculation in which he lost all his means. Taken altogether 
the history of the family is a somewhat tragic chapter. 

Following the survey of the town in 1833, several persons took up 
lots and located upon them at once ; and the place received a consid- 
erable boom. Amongfst those who had settled here before that date 
were Richard Carney, John Bingham, Sidney M. S'anford, and John 

In order to understand more fully the topography of the embryo 
town, it may be stated that the principal street (which corresponds 
with the modern Dunlop Street) ran parallel and almost identical with 
Marks Street, but a short way north of it. On one side of this old 
street stood the Government storehouse, while on the other side 
Richard Carney came in 1832 and erected a log tavern for the accom- 
modation of travellers and others. The second early inn-keeper of the 
place was John Bingham, who also in 1832 erected, farther east on 
the main street, a hewn log tavern which has since developed into "The 

At the corner of Dunlop and Muicaster Streets of the present, the 
Government had erected a log cabin for the convenience of arriving 
settlers. In this building Sidney M. Sanford opened a store in 1832, 
and thus became the first storekeeper. On Christmas Day of the fol- 
lowing year he erected the frame of a new building at the corner of 
Owen and Dunlop Street, and continued therein for some years. He 
was subsequently appointed Treasurer of the County in 1884, and died 
August 12, 1885. 

Mr. Sanford engaged as clerk in his store, John McWatt, who 
had left Cromarty, in Scotland, on June 25th, 1832, for Canada. 
When he first visited Barrie there were but Edgar and Walker living 
at the place. He subsequently purchased Mr. Sanford 's store busi- 
ness, and became the first Clerk of the Simcoe District Council in 
1843 till 1852. He died May 21, 1892, in his 8ist year. 




In addition to the names of the earliest residents of Barrie given 
in the Appendix, there may be mentioned Dr. Archibald Pass, who 
arrived in July, 1835, and was the first doctor in the neighbourhood. 
As the pioneer doctor of the settlements around, he had some hard 
experiences on his travels, which extended as far as Nottawasaga and 
even further. He died December 2, 1861, in his 55th year. 

Among the later arrivals who took a conspicuous part in public 
affairs was William D. Ardagh, a native of Tipperary, Ireland. He 
was reeve of Barrie from 1864 to 1871, and during the last three years 

Collegiate Institute, Barrie. 
(Successor of the first County Grammar School.) 

of this term, he was Warden of the County. From 1871 until 1875 ^ e 
represented North Simcoe in the Ontario Legislature. In 1883 he was 
appointed Judge of the Eastern Judicial District of Manitoba, with 
headquarters at Winnipeg. He died suddenly on April 16, 1893, at the 
age of 65. 

Amongst others who took part in the affairs of the County was 
John S'trathy, barrister-at-law, who was County Clerk for four years 

He was succeeded by Richard B. Bernard, another citizen of the 
town, who also held the position for nearly four years (1857-9). 



An epidemic of scarlet fever of a very maagnant type swept over 
the town in the summer (July and August) of 1843, carrying off scores 
of children, and during its ravages many families lost heavily. 

Barrie was incorporated in 1850 as a "town" under 13 and 14 
Viet., chap. 64, and Proclamation of September 27, 1850, the Act 
being framed to come into effect at the commencement of 1851. Under 
the Act just referred to, Barrie was classed along with others as a 
"town" "without any municipal organization." At the beginning of 
1854 it sent a representative separately from Vespra, to the County 
Council, Jonathan Lane being its first reeve. But its municipal organ- 

C.P.K. Bridge near Midhurst. 
(One of the largest trestleworks in existence.) 

ization became then only that of a village, and remained so until 1871, 
when it became a "town" in the ordinary sense of the word as used 
to-day, with Robert Simpson as the first Mayor. 

A petition for the incorporation of Allandale as a village came 
before the County Council as long ago as January, 1883, but the peti- 
tion had not been "authenticated" and was not acted upon. Again 
in June, 1891, the subject came before the same body, and Wm. Kell 
was thereupon appointed Census enumerator. He found it contained 
984 inhabitants, and the Council incorporated it, with Robert Camp- 
bell as the first returning officer. W. P. Soules became the first reeve 

VESPRA. 211 

of the new municipality. The limits of the village were more definitely 
described in another By-law passed, January, 1893. The union of the 
village with Barrie took place January i, 1897. 


At Midhurst, a settlement was made at an early date, but it did 
not proceed with the same rapidity which characterized some other 
places. In 1825, a mill-site at this place was granted by the Govern- 
ment, on Willow Creek, for the purposes of sawing and gristing. 
The mills were built chiefly by subscriptions from the settlers, and were 
operated by George Oliver and John and Thomas Mair. They are 
said to have been the first mills built north of Lake Simcoe, and must 
certainly have been a boon to the settlers, as the nearest point at 
which there were mills up to that time was Holland Landing. 

John Munro, a native of Inverness, Scotland, came to Canada with 
his wife and young family in 1832, settling for a short time in Pene- 
tanguishene, from which place he removed to Barrie and became one 
of the first residents of the town. About the year 1835 he moved 
finally to lot 14, con. 7, Vespra, where he lived for many years, under- 
going the usual difficulties and hardships of pioneer life. Robert 
Munro, his son, continued as the representative of the family at this 
place, and Christiana Munro, a daughter, became the wife of George 
Sneath in 1845, surviving until April 13, 1894. Amongst those who 
located near Oliver's Mills was George Sneath, Esq., who arrived in 
1842, from England. He taught school in Vespra for fourteen years> 
for a portion of which time he was also local superintendent of schools. 
He became clerk and treasurer of Vespra in 1854, and continued in 
office until his death, on July 13, 1907, in his 88th year. Mr. Sneath 
was the author of numerous sketches of the early days of this county. 
His son, W. A. Sneath, of Elmvale, was Warden of the County in 

Another conspicuous person in Vespra of a slightly later time, was 
Robert Leadley, a native of Yorkshire, England, who came to Canada 
with his wife and two children in 1852 and purchased the Midhurst 
mills, which had been carried on by Henry R. A. Boys. Mr. Leadley 
had a long record of municipal service in Vespra, having been a mem- 
ber of the council for 30 years, for seventeen of which he was reeve > 
continuously (1867-83). He died July 28, 1893. 


Another well known pioneer was Michael Quinlan, a native of 
County Clare, Ireland, who came to Canada in 1842 and settled on 
lot 21, con. 3, spending the remainder of his life on this lot. He was 
appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1863. His death occurred Novem- 
ber 8, 1892, aged 74 years. Several sons of his became permanent 
residents of the township and neighbourhood, of whom Daniel Quin- 
lan was Warden in 1902, and is now the County Treasurer. 

Joseph Tomlinson, of lot 8, con. 8, was the first actual settler in 
the Minesing settlement after the survey of the Minesing Road by 
George Lount in 1847. In fact, Mr. Lount located Mr. Tomlinson at 
the place. They had to go through the water of Willow Creek to reach 
his "location" when he first settled. 

In 1833 the "Old Sunnidale Road" was opened by the Drurys, 
assisted by Alex. Walker of Barrie. The route chosen was from Barrie 
to Brentwood, and thence to Nottawasaga Bay. The present Sunnidale 
Road coincides with the original bush waggon-track made in 1833, 
except that portion nearest Barrie. For three miles this portion of the 
old one was in a different place and though not used nowadays, its 
course here may still be traced. When making this road through 
the forest, the workmen came upon the remains of a man, lying in 
the woods. It was impossible to recognize his features, but there 
were sufficient remnants of clothing, boots, and other articles to indi- 
cate that the body was that of a white man, who had perished during 
the winter. (Rev. T. Williams, in his Memories, p. 32, stated the 
body was that of Mr. Boothby, the surveyor's chainbearer). A lonely 
grave was made at the place, and for nearly four score years the 
unfortunate man has lain upon the hill, even the exact place of his 
burial having been forgotten. 

The first person to locate upon this newly made colonization road 
was Dudley Root, who opened a tavern beside it at a distance of 
about eight miles from Barrie, on lot 20, con. n. In fact, Mr. Root 
went to this place before the road was opened in 1833, having reached 
there by an Indian path or trail. A description of this man and his 
tavern, as they appeared in 1833, is given by Samuel Thompson in his 
"Reminiscences." In 1833, David Meacham left Glasgow, Scotland, 
with his family, to find a home in Upper Canada ; but upon reaching 
Montreal, he died from the prevailing scourge of cholera. His widow 
with her little ones came on to this county, became the wife of Dudley 
Root and settled upon the newly made Sunnidale Road near Grenfel 
of the present time. Here the family encountered the hardships of 

VESPRA. 213 

pioneer life, and met them with bravery. One of the members of the 
family was Thomas Meacham, of Sunnidale, who afterward filled 
various municipal offices in that township. 

The names of others who located in the same part of Vespra before 
1836 are, Thomas Berry, Thomas Foster, Dennis Martin, John Kelly, 
and Myles Kenny, the latter of whom was a member of the first muni- 
cipal council of Vespra. 

Capt. McKinnon, who served in the Rebellion of 1837, is also to 
be mentioned amongfst the earliest in that section. 

Another pioneer of the same part was Robert McGowan, a native 
of Glasgow, Scotland, who enlisted in the 7ist Highlanders when 
quite young", and came with his regiment to Canada in 1826. With 
a detachment of soldiers he was sent to Penetanguishene, passing over 
the route thither when it was a wilderness. He remained there until 
his regiment was sent back to England in 1831. Upon his arrival 
there he was granted his discharge, upon which he returned to Canada, 
and took up lot 21 in the i4th concession of Vespra, but left it and 
then lived near Midhurst. He continued to be a resident of the town- 
ship until his death in 1888, at the advanced age of 84 years, having 
left several descendants in the district. 

Charles Hickling furnished the writer with a list of the first 
industries in the township, as known to him at the time of his arrival 
in 1831, supplementing the information about Vespra already given. 

"The first sawmill was built about 1825, and the first grist-mill 
about 1827, by Geo. Oliver, at Midhurst. The second mill was built 
by Government for the Indians at Coldwater. The only tavern was 
near Hillsdale, kept by Wm. Prey (lot 53), 1829. The first store was 
kept by John Bruce, (1829), on lot 31 ; he also used to keep travellers. 
A brewery by Charles Kerridge, (lot 23 on the Oro side), in 1828. The 
first distillery was built by George Oliver, about 1836 or 1837, at Mid- 
hurst. The first blacksmith shop by T. Ambler, (lot 6), 1828. Peter 
White, J. P., (lot 26), at Dalston, built the first meeting-house, 1825." 

Chapter XVII. 


With the exception of an early settlement in what was known 
as "Upper Flos," this township did not become generally settled until 
later years. The cause of this tardiness in its development is not far 
to seek. Standing on the hills which run through the south-eastern 
portion of the township, qne can see at a glance the flat character of 
the surface of the land throughout the greater part of its extent. 
As far as the eye can reach westward, there was nothing in sight for 
the pioneers but the long dark forest, extending away to the hills 
of Nottawasaga, and through this wide plain of unbroken forest ran 
the Nottawasaga River. It was certainly discouraging to early 
settlers to enter the forests here and open settlements ; and so for 
many years the settlement of "Upper Flos" was the only attempt in 
that direction. 

One after another the settlers arrived, pushing the limits of 
civilization further westward each year into the forest, until the 
Village of Apto took rise on the outskirts of the clearings, toward the 
southerly end of the township. This, however, did not take place until 
1851, in which year the founder of the village, Dennis Gallagher, a 
pensioned soldier, located there. The post office, the first in the 
township, was opened in 1857, and was kept at the Vespra town line 
by Malcolm Stewart, who was postmaster until 1859. In the latter 
year it was removed to its present location and Mr. Gallagher became 
postmaster, being also the school teacher for the settlement. The 
first to settle in this part of the township were : Dominick Moran, 
who took up lot 4, concession 2, in 1836, or earlier, and John McAvoy, 
a retired soldier of the 8gth Regiment, with his brothers, Patrick and 
Henry, who also arrived about the same time. John McAvoy was 
reeve of Flos in 1869, 1870-1. Thomas Barnard and the Coughlin 
families settled further west at a slightly later time. 

Further north, in the next portion of "Upper Flos," Gavin 
Turner, a native of Scotland, settled with his family on the second 
line, "Old Survey," in 1835. His sons, James, Gavin and John 
Turner, also became early settlers in Flos. John Rowatt also settled 


0. J. Phelps, Flos, 
Warden, 1881 ; Sheriff, 1890-4. 


FLOS. 217 

in the same tract about the same time. Gideon Richardson, a son of 
William Richardson, who settled on the Penetanguishene Road (Oro 
side) and who was mentioned in our account of that locality, made a 
beginning in the "New Survey" of Flos, on lot i, concession 6, 
before 1836. His brothers, George and William, settled southward 
from his "location" at a slightly later period. In the same neigh- 
bourhood John Gumming settled in 1843. 

The opening of the North Simcoe Railway in 1879 stimulated the 
growth of the central parts of Flos. Charles Anderson, of An ten 
Mills, became well known in lumbering circles about this time, the 
name of the firm being Anderson & Tennant, and from the first 
syllable of each man's name the word "Anten" was made up. Mr. 
Anderson afterward operated large mills at Little Current, Mani- 
toulin Island, but died November, 1896, at the age of 54. 

In the year 1870, O. J. Phelps came to Flos and purchased a 
sawmill on Marl Creek, and from that time onward he became iden- 
tified with the Village of Phelpston, which in the year after his arrival 
was established and named after him. Mr. Phelps was chosen reeve 
of Flos in 1872 and continued to hold the position until 1885, or a 
period of fourteen years, during which time he was mostly elected 
by acclamation. He was first elected M.P.P. for West Simcoe in 
1883, an d represented the riding in the Ontario Legislature until 1890, 
in which year he was appointed sheriff of Simcoe County, serving in 
this capacity for four years. 

Vigo and its surrounding neighbourhood received its settlers 
mostly in the sixties. One of these was Henry Gribbin, who kept a 
wayside inn for many years. Dennis Gallagher sold his store at Apto 
in 1868, and removed to Vigo, becoming its postmaster, and estab- 
lishing a store. For more than twenty years he was the mail carrier 
for the office, as well as for other offices in the south of Flos. He 
donated the site of Vigo Church, and was the business man of the 
place. But the fierce forest fires of September, 1881, destroyed his 
property there, and he retired to Phelpston, where he died, January, 
1893, aged 83. 

Henry Crossland settled with his family in the early seventies at 
the place which now bears his name, the post office having been 
opened about the year 1874, while the settlement around was still in 
a pioneer condition. Several settlers on the eighth line north of his 
"location" had come from the easterly part of Oro at an earlier time. 

15 (ii) 


The two first settlers at the north end of the township' were 
Thomas Allen and William Wood, and their names were given to the 
first post office in that quarter, by the process of combination into 
one word "Allenwood." 

In the serious bush fires following- the dry period at the end of 
the summer of 1881, many families in the western part of Flos lost 
their homes by fire and had to begin life anew. The circumstances 
were of such a serious nature as to call foi: much sympathy with the 


Anyone who has occasion to visit the Village of Elmvale now, 
without having been there for a few years, will be very much struck 
with the extensive improvements that have been made in that time. 
The contrast is even more striking if we look backward to the begin- 
ning of this flourishing village. Previous to 1847, the entire flat 
portion of the Township of Flos, where Elmvale, Fergusonvale and 
Phelpston now stand, and all the district west to the Nottawasaga 
River, was a wilderness seldom trodden by white men. In the year 
1847 James Harvey came from the North of Ireland, and finding 
his way into the "bush" settled on the bank of the River Wye about 
a mile and a quarter east of where the village now is. His son, 
William Harvey, was superintendent of the township's schools for 
fourteen years, (1858-71), and for many years filled the position of 
township clerk and treasurer. 

John Ritchie, father of John, William, and Thomas Ritchie, came 
with his family from Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and took up his abode 
near Harvey in 1849. William Ritchie and Edward Archer, with 
their families, followed in 1851. Nor did they themselves think 
there was any more land around them worth settling on, except what 
they had already taken up. About 1853, however, John McGinnis 
planted himself on lot 6, (north half) concession 8, which is now part 
of Elmvale, but called by the settlers at that time the "Four Cor- 
ners." These were followed by the families of Strath, Graham, Pater- 
son, Dickey, and a short time later by those of Drysdale, Lambie, 
Kerr and Malcolm. 

Gabriel French was also an early settler on the high ground, 
northeast of Elmvale, and numerous descendants of his still live in 
this neighbourhood. He died November 4, 1902, at an advanced age. 
15a (u) 

FLOS. 219 

Years passed and these few settlers with occasional additions to 
their numbers continued clearing away the forest and making homes 
for themselves. About the year 1859, Thomas Stone opened out a 
store at the "Four Corners," and a few years afterwards Joseph 
Lambie opened another. The first place of worship was the Presby- 
terian Church built in 1864 on the rising ground about one-quarter 
of a mile east of the village. This was beside the graveyard, where so 
many of the first settlers are resting. 

Elmvale received its first boom when the North Simcoe Branch 
Railway was built in 1879, and it has continued to grow ever since 
without any visible interruption. In 1887, G. Copeland & Sons built 
a large flour mill with a capacity of 150 barrels per day, and with 
an elevator attached to the mill, capable of storing 30,000 bushels of 

Wm. Rowley, sr. , contributed an article on the "Early Settlers of 
Flos," to the Elmvale Lance of September 27, 1906. And the same 
paper in its issue of December 13, 1906, contained a sketch of the 
township's history. 

Elmvale was made a Police Village by a By-law of the County 
Council, in June, 1894. 

Chapter XVIII. 


This settlement began soon after the migration from Drummond 
Island in 1828, when the contingent of French-Canadians who had 
been connected with the post at that place was transferred to the 
vicinity of Penetanguishene, and each one given a small grant of 
land. About the time to which the sketches of the pioneers in this 
history mostly refer, viz., 1836, when the French-Canadian settlers 
just referred to were living chiefly in Penetanguishene, some of them 
began to take up larger farms in the fertile valley in concessions 15 
and 1 6 of Tiny, in what is now known as the Lafontaine settlement. 
This contingent of French-Canadians, who settled at Penetanguishene, 
and some of them afterward around Lafontaine, have left their 
impress upon the localities and their surroundings. 

Louis DesCheneaux settled about the year 1830 and built the 
first house near Lafontaine, on lot 16, concession 16. He was born 


Top row, left to right : J. T. Simpson, Wm. Matthews, A. Jackel, 
A. W. Beardsley (county messenger), Wm. Leach, F. H. Ball, Robert 
Bell, J. H. Mitchell, W. R. McLean, A. E. Scanlon, T. B. Cramp,. 
A A. Cunningham, Jas. Dundas, E. A. Little (Surrogate Registrar). 

Second row, left to right : John McCosh, (Court Clerk), Jas. 
Stafford, Joseph Caldwell, J. J. Mitchell, Joseph Pierson, Thos. Shaw,. 
Thos. Goodeve, Geo. Copeland, A. C. Garden, Jas. Moore, G. E. J. 
Brown, J. R. Harvie, C. J. Picotte, W. M. Harvey (Sheriff), Jonathan 
Sissons (Jailer). 

Third row, left to right : J. R. Cotter (Crown Attorney), H. 
Grose, E. T. McConkey, Wm. Wood, W. B. Sanders, D. C. Barr 
(Warden), Walter Lawson, Jas. Vair, A. P. Potter, Jas. McDermott, 
Alex. Ingram. 

Fourth row (sitting), left to right : R. J. Fletcher (County Clerk), 
W. F. Toner, C. G. Millard, M. Clark, W". C. Goffatt, Alex. Wood- 
row, Jas. Jardine, Richard Bell, Daniel Quinlan (County Treasurer). 

Inserted on the left : R. H. Jupp, Supervisor of County Roads. 

Inserted on the right : John J. Coffey (deceased). 



TINY. 223 

in 1789, and had come to this county about the same time as the 
migration mentioned. This was the beginning of the settlement, and 
others soon followed, four of whom settled on other parts of the 
same lot, viz., Chas. Cote, John LaCroix, Cyril Pombert, and Joseph 
Thibault. Before the year 1836, we find that the following had also 
settled in the vicinity of Louis DesCheneaux : 

Colbert Amyot (Cuthbert Amiotte), south halves lots 16 and 17, 
concession 15. 

Louis Desaulnier, lot 13, concession 15. 

Louis George Labatte, south half lot 16, concession 17. 

These three settlers received the patents for the lands named 
in the year 1836. The second settler in the list just given, (Desaul- 
nier), had been a government interpreter to the Indians. And L. 
G. Labatte's location was at the extreme north end of Tiny beside 
what is known as Thunder Bay. 

Others who went to the settlement about the same time as the 
first settlers mentioned above, or a short time later, were : 

J. B. Boucher, lot 15, concession 16. 

Louis Chevrette, lot 13, concession 17. 

Edward Doucette, lot 13, concession 17. 

Antoine and Oliver LaFreniere, lot 18, concession 15. 

Chas. LaMoreau, lot 15, concession 15. 

Joseph Messier, lot 17, concession 15. 

Augustin Precourt, lot 16, concession 15. 

The fine stream which flows through this "Happy Valley," and 
is the only stream of any considerable size wholly within the township, 
has been known by various names, including Boucher's River, Mar- 
childon's Creek, etc. The name of Messier's Lake was attached to 
one of the small lakes in the north part of Tiny, from the above 
named early settler. 

Numerous facts about some of the above mentioned settlers and 
others are preserved in a monograph by A. C. Osborne on the Drum- 
mond Island migration in the third volume of papers and records 
issued by the Ontario Historical Society, 1901. 

This settlement of French-Canadians is the only one of any 
extent in this county in which the English language is not spoken. 
Formerly, in Oro and in Nottawasaga, Gaelic was spoken by the first 
settlers, but Gaelic is now practically obsolete in those townships. 
Surrounded, as the settlement in Tiny has been, by English speaking 
settlements, the French speaking settlers there have inevitably 


acquired English gradually. This is especially true of the men, who 
have been further afield than the women ; so that at the present time 
there is scarcely a man who cannot express himself in both languages. 
In regard to the facility of acquiring English, Jas. C. Morgan, 
Public School Inspector, replying to questions submitted to him by 
the County Council, in November, 1893, stated that the French 
language was then taught in two schools of Tiny, Nos. 13 and 19, 
and was used to a slight extent, for purposes of communication in 
two more, Nos. 17 and 18. He stated further that the French popu- 
lation in Tiny had always ben most anxious to have English taught 


A trail or portage led across from the head of Penetanguishene 
Bay to the Nottawasaga Bay from the earliest times. At the westerly 
end of this Indian path on Nottawasaga Bay, at what has been known 
as "Tiny Beach," a sawmill was erected in the first years of this 
county's settlement, about 1832, and was known as the "King's 
Mills." When Sir Richard Bonnycastle visited the locality soon 
afterward, he passed this way, and speaks of the place in his "Travels 
in Canada." 

At a later time (about 1858), the mill, or its successor, passed into 
the hands of a company of shareholders, consisting of John Me Watt, 
Sutherland, John Dewe, and H. P. Savigny, the surveyor, the 
firm being known as John McWatt & Co. Subsequently, as it is said, 
Mr. Dewe acquired all the shares of these partners and conducted 
the sawmill for a short time with Riley Randolph as manager, but 
a depression in the lumber market resulted in the failure of the under- 
taking. Mr. Dewe subsequently became Chief Post Office Inspector 
for the Dominion, and held the office for several years. Members of 
the Randolph family afterward were mill owners in the Township of 
Nottawasaga at the Batteau River and Stayner. 

The sawmill in Tiny was about half a mile from Nottawasaga 
Bay. An early occupant of the north half of lot 18, concession 12, 
near the mill, was Hypolite Brissette, whose son, John Brissette, 
became well known as a voyageur. 

John Vent & Co., of a neighbouring lot, were also mill owners 
at a later time. 

Chapter XIX. 


As it has been our custom to speak of some of the prominent 
pioneers in each township, it comes next in order to do the same for 
Sunnidale. In the "Reminiscences" of Samuel Thompson the early con- 
nection of that pioneer and his brothers with the township was told in 
Mr. Thompson's own words at considerable length. This man with 
his brothers Thomas and Isaac came from England in 1833 and took 
up land on the newly-opened highway through Sunnidale. After two 
years of the usual hardships there, they exchanged their Sunnidale lot 
for one in Nottawasaga, and removed thither. This was in the autumn 
of 1835 ; but their stay there was even shorter, as in the summer of 
1837, Thompson left Nottawasaga to seek permanent employment in 
Toronto. He was a printer, and readily found work in a newspaper 
office, as the times were feverish owing to the approaching Rebellion. 

In 1839 ne acquired an interest in the Toronto Herald newspaper, 
and continued in this profession until 1860, publishing in succession, 
during those years, the Herald, Patriot, News of the Week, Atlas, and 
Daily Colonist newspapers, and finally the Quebec Advertiser. The 
story of his life and experiences is told by himself in a most interesting 
manner in "Reminiscences of a Canadian Pioneer" already mentioned. 
When the Toronto Public Library was established in 1883, Mr. Thomp- 
son's services to the country were remembered by appointing him to a 
position in connection with it; but he only survived a year or two. 
Alex. McNeill, in the list of Sunnidale pioneers, was the early inn- 
keeper of the township, probably the first in it. 

The Shaw family, of whom there were three brothers, John, Dun- 
can and Donald, settled in Sunnidale in the very earliest period of the 
township's settlement. The last named, Donald Shaw, was related by 
marriage to Wellesley Richey, the Government agent for locating the 
settlers upon their lands, and two sons of Mr. Shaw became artists, 
one of whom, H. R. Shaw, resided in Rosseau, Ontario, and the 
other, D. A. Shaw, resided for many years in the county town and 
produced work in both portrait and landscape painting. Donald Shaw 
sat for about twenty years in the township and County Councils, and 



in the earliest period of schools (1844, etc.), was the Township School 

Gilbert Macaulay, mentioned in the Pioneer List in the Appendix, 
was the pioneer School Teacher of this township, and is referred to 
in the chapter on the early schools. 

A little further onward, Alexander Gillespie settled about the same 
time and also became a useful pioneer. He was the first postmaster of 
"Sunnidale" post office on its establishment June 4, 1840, and for 
some years in the forties was the Township Clerk, as well as a Justice 
of the Peace, having- received the latter appointment in 1857. 

Timothy Haggart, placed in the List on lot 9, was employed in 
the party of Wellesley Richey, and soon afterward became a resident 
of the county town where he spent the remainder of his life. 

Of Henry Seeler on lot 7, it is recorded that he was a native of 
County Kerry, Ireland. He was chosen District Councillor for Sunni- 
dale for the year 1846, but grew tired of the office, and for the next 
three years the township was without any regular representative at the 
District Council board, there being nobody in the township with means 
enough to lose time to fill the office. George Sneath in his article on 
Sunnidale fifty years agx> (printed in No. i of the Pioneer Papers of 
the Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society, page 13) relates 
how in the year of Mr. Seeler's District Councillorship he travelled on 
foot to Barrie. He died April 7, 1893, having nearly reached his hun- 
dredth year; his aged wife had died a few hours before him, and they 
were both buried in one grave, after residing 59 years together on the 

In the pre-rebellion years Joseph Crowe located on the Sunnidale 
Road, at the place which bears his name to this day (Crowe's Corners). 
The district around Meaford was settled about the same time as Sunni- 
dale ; and as it was long prior to the railway days, a great deal of 
teaming was in requisition by the new settlers in that remote section of 
the country. Mr. Crowe's house was a convenient hostelry or stopping 
place for the night. The ice of Nottawasaga Bay was extensively used 
in winter time over which the supplies for these Meaford settlers could 
be transported. On one occasion, while on a teaming expedition, 
when the condition of the ice toward spring was critical, Mr. Crowe 
lost a valuable span of horses through the ice, and he himself narrowly 
escaped from drowning. Such were the ups and downs of pioneer life. 
Were we to mention at some length the trials and hardships of the 
Sunnidale Road settlers, these sketches would become lengthy, as they 



were particularly severe. Sufficient has already been said of their 
troubles. The Appendix contains the roll of the names of those who 
had settled in the township prior to 1837. 

Another notable pioneer who settled on the Sunnidale Road, four 
miles south of Sunnidale Corners, and who arrived in the spring- of 
1837, was S. Fisher. He was 76 years of age at the time, had been 
a London publisher, and was not well adapted for the hardships of 
bush life. However, he persevered, but did not succeed well at his 
advanced age. He died in 1848, and his grandson, George Rogers, 
succeeded him on the homestead. Some of Mr. Fisher's experiences 
in this locality are described in Mr. Sneath's paper already referred 
to, and also by W. L. Smith from a narrative of George Rogers, pub- 
lished in the Weekly Sun (Toronto), of September 3, 1902. 

A little way northward from Mr. Crowe, George Cathey had a 
pioneer sawmill near the Nottawasaga River. He was a Captain in 
the Militia and drilled the pioneers' sons, as Mr. Sneath has related 
in the interesting article referred to. In many ways Mr. Cathey was 
a useful man in that neighbourhood. 

John Currie, mentioned on lot 3 in the list of pioneers, was the 
Township Clerk in 1845, and belonged to the same family as others 
of that name in Nottawasaga. Various early settlers along this Sun- 
nidale Road were natives of the Island of Islay, Scotland, some of 
whom removed to Nottawasaga. 

Nearly all the early settlers in Sunnidale lived along the Govern- 
ment Road. Having now made a few references to the early settlers 
along this pioneer road called the "Sunnidale Road," some remarks 
ought to be made in regard to the arrangements for settling the 
pioneers upon their lands. The chief agent appointed by Government 
to do this work was Wellesley Richey, and in the "Memories" of the 
Rev. Thomas Williams (published by the Simcoe County Pioneer and 
Historical Society, in 1909) there is an account of the work as it was 
carried on, Mr. Williams having been one of Mr. Richey's party in this 
undertaking. The following instructions to Mr. Richey from the Gov- 
ernment Department will throw a little light upon the events of those 

far off days. 


YORK, i4th May, 1833. 

g 1Rj I am directed by the Lieutenant-Governor to acquaint you 

that he will authorize the employment of fifty Indigent Emigrants in 
clearing land in the Township of Sunnidale, but as the expenditure on 


account of Emigration last year, greatly exceeds the amount antici- 
pated, I am instructed by His Excellency to state that the work must 
be done by contract, and that he cannot sanction any outlay unless his 
special authority for the same is first obtained. 

As it is not possible, at present, to say what number of Emigrants 
will stand in need of being- employed at the expense of the Government, 
the number of acres to be cleared cannot be specified, but it is His 
Excellency's pleasure that you should proceed to Sunnidale forthwith 
and select a number of the most eligible lots, upon each of which it is 
proposed to clear ten acres of land by contract at the rate of ^4 cur- 
rency per acre for clearing- and fencing- the same. 

The Emigrants to be employed being- such only as do not possess 
the means to purchase land and who cannot obtain employment else- 
where ; you are authorized by His Excellency to advance each settler, 
when he has chopped fit for log-g-ing-, one acre, the sum of one pound, 
ten shilling's ; and if his circumstances are such, that he cannot sub- 
sist himself and family while he is employed in chopping that acre, you 
may advance him one shilling- and three pence per day, for each day's 
work performed, and deduct the amount from the one pound ten shil- 
lings above mentioned. 

His Excellency requires that weekly returns of the expenses 
incurred at your Agency should be forwarded to me and you are author- 
ized to draw on the Commissioner of Crown Lands for the amount. 

In order to prepare for the employment and accommodation of the 
Emigrants expected to arrive this season I am directed by His Excel- 
lency to inform you that he will sanction the following outlay for that 
purpose. It is, however, to be borne in mind that in no instance is 
the contract to be entered into if the amount of the tender exceeds the 
sum specified. 

1. To repair the log houses erected for the use of Emigrants at 
Kempenfeldt Bay (at Barrie). 

2. To build an Emigrant shed in Sunnidale and a small log house 
for your own accommodation. 

3. To build a bridge across the Notawasauga River, cost not to 
exceed 20. 

4. To build a boat 18 feet keel, cost not to exceed j. los. 

5. To open the road from where Walker's contract terminates, to 
the Notawasauga River about of a mile. 

His Excellency is very anxious to give the experiment of employ- 
ing Indigent Emigrants in clearing land a fair trial as he conceives it 


to be of the utmost importance to discover some mode of employing 
them by which the amount expended will revert to the Government for 
the purpose of carrying- on similar operations in future; and if the 
improvements you are authorized to make on the different lots of land 
can be sold for what they cost the Government, that object will be 

I am, Sir, 

Your Most Obedient Servant, 

Mr. Wellesley Richey. 

The vicinity of New Lowell was not improved until 1853, when 
Peter Paton, Neil and Martin Harkin, and others, began to open its 
forests. Peter Paton became the first postmaster of New Lowell in 
1855. His son, Robert Paton, was M.P.P. for Centre Simcoe, 1890-8. 

At Sunnidale station, which was at first called Silver-shoe, and 
Strongville since 1904, John Ross settled in 1854 and became its first 
postmaster in 1856. 

In June, 1858, by a By-law of the County Council, Sunnidale was 
detached from Vespra, with which it had been grouped for municipal 
purposes, and authorized to elect a Township Council of its own after 
January r, 1860. Whether intentional or not, the By-law was framed 
so as not to come into effect for more than a year and a half after it 
was passed. Misunderstanding the date, the Sunnidale ratepayers, at 
the beginning of 1859, elected a Township Council, with John Ross as 
reeve, but the County Council held it to be illegal, and would not allow 
Mr. Ross to take a scat at the County Council board. As the people of 
Sunnidale had elected their Township Council, and did not wish to be 
retarded for a whole year in becoming a separate corporation, they 
applied early in 1859 to the Canadian Parliament for an Act to legal- 
ize their proceedings, but the Bill did not pass in the Legislature. 

In the serious bush fires which devastated portions of this County 
during August and September, 1881, several settlers in Sunnidale, 
especially in the northerly parts of the township, sustained heavy losses 
by the destruction of their buildings and other property. 

Chapter XX. 


Soon after the survey of the Township of Nottawasaga by Thomas 
Kelly, in 1832, and Chas. Rankin in 1833, a few settlers began to take 
up land within its borders. A local immigrant agent was appointed in 
the person of H. C. Young-, a gentleman of Scottish birth, who appears 
to have held the position for about one year. It would be in Mr. 
Young's term of office in 1834, that two or three notable settlements 
were begun in the township a Highland Scotch settlement at Dun- 
troon, a settlement of Irish Catholics on the fourth line, and a small 
German settlement near Batteau. It is related that, "These first set- 
tlers did chopping for the Government, being paid in provisions, which 
at first they had to carry from Barrie on their backs, but were subse- 
quently supplied from the shanty store of the overseer, Mr. Young, 
who was also a Crown Lands Agent. Some Dutch (German) settlers 
are said to have refused the work thus offered them, and it is alleged 
that a number of them starved to death, though others lay the cause 
of their mortality to sickness." (The Government's instructions are 
printed in our last chapter, on Sunnidale). 

The experiences of the pioneers Samuel Thompson and his bro- 
thers, upon locating in the forests of Sunnidale, have been referred to 
in the chapter on that township. Owing to their land in Sunnidale 
being near a large cedar swamp extending into Nottawasaga, the local- 
ity was too aguish, and they accordingly determined to remove to a 
better spot in Nottawasaga. As Mr. Thompson's narrative of their 
removal contains glimpses of the events that were happening in the 
district at that time, we shall refer the reader to the account in his own 


Mention was just made of the establishment of a Highland Scotch 
Settlement at Duntroon, but it should not be inferred that all the early 
settlers near that place were of that nationality. A few of those who 
located early were of Irish nativity, and a few were Germans. Some 
of these Nottawasaga pioneers had been previously located in Sunni- 


NO TTA WA SA GA . 233 

dale, but owing to the marshy character of the land and other causes, 
their families soon cast their lots in the more westerly township. Late 
in 1834 or in the early part of 1835 a number of five acre lots were laid 
out, and given to immigrants without power of sale, at Bowmore at 
that time, but since named Duntroon. It is said that twenty-one set- 
tlers availed themselves of this provision by the Government, and 
removed their families there. The names of these pioneers are as fol- 
lows : 

John Adair, Malcolm Bell, John Birtle, Alexander Campbell, Angus 
Campbell, Archibald Currie, Peter Currie, William Dallas, Andrew 
Jardine, David Jardine, Andrew Lawlor, Archibald McColeman, John 
McDermaid, Archibald McEwan, Neil McEwan, John McFayden, 
Archibald McGillivray, Duncan McNabb, John McQueen, Wm. Martin, 
Conrad Swalm. 

Most of these settlers, however, left the five acre lots within a year 
or two afterward and took up bush farms in the neighbourhood. In 
this respect it may be of interest to contrast the Bowmore pioneers 
with the French settlers of Penetanguishene. In both cases the system 
of granting small lots was adopted by government; and while in the 
former case the settlers entirely forsook the small holdings, the move- 
ment was not so marked in the latter case. 

One of the earliest to arrive at the five acre lots was Malcolm Bell 
who came with his family in October, 1834. He died July 5, 1854, 
in his 74th year. Numerous descendants of his have been residents of 
the locality. His eldest son, Angus Bell, was Clerk of the Township 
for a number of years. 

Peter Currie came with the first contingent of Islay settlers in the 
fall of 1834, but did not live long to see the growth of the settlement, 
having been killed by a falling tree in March, 1835. The place where 
the accident occurred was north of Duntroon, on or about lot 26, con. 
8, and his death was the first that took place in the new settlement. 
One of his sons, John Currie, afterward settled on lot 35, con. 12, and 
another, James Currie, on lot 38, con. 10. 

Hugh Currie came to Canada in 1833, and lived for some time in 
Oro, but in 1836 he settled on lot 28, con. 8, near Duntroon, where he 
lived for upward of 55 years, and for 52 he was an elder in the Pres- 
byterian Church at Duntroon. His death occurred at Collingwood, 
October, 1893, at about 83 years of age. 

William Dallas, also a native of Islay, Scotland, like all the others 
here, settled first on a five acre lot, then moved to lot 20, down the 
16 (ii) 


8th line. About the year 1893 he died at the home of his daughter in 
Manitoulin Island, where he was buried. His son William became the 
occupant of the homestead. 

It is stated that Neil Bell was the first white child born in the 
township, in March, 1835, but there is a diversity as to this particular, 
as a later account states that John Ross, a son of the man who built 
the first grist-mill, was the first child born within its borders. 

Archibald Ferguson came a short time later than the others in 
this interesting group of settlers. He was a stonemason before com- 
ing to Canada. His son, Peter Ferguson, became the first school 
teacher at Duntroon, although in this particular, as in some others, 
there are two accounts of the case, another stating that Malcolm 
Livingstone was the first school teacher. The truth of the matter is 
that Peter Ferguson belonged to the Old Kirk, and the Livingstone 
family to the Free Church. Each party had a teacher of its own, and 
the writer cannot ascertain which was the earlier of the two. One 
thing is certain ; there was strong feeling manifested on both sides, 
as according to one amusing account, even the children of the respec- 
tive schools could not pass in the roads without flinging sticks or 
stones at each other. 

Peter Ferguson was a good platform speaker in both Gaelic and 
Fnglish, and became the first reeve of the township- in 1850, when the 
name of "reeve" took the place of the district councillor. He repre- 
sented the township for seven years at the County Council board, in 
the first year of which (1850) the question of taking ^50,000 stock in 
the Northern Railway came up, and as the vote in the Council was a 
close one, he was given credit for giving the casting vote in favour of 
the measure, and in this way earned the dislike of many prejudiced 
against it. At a later time he was postmaster at Collingwood and also 
Customs inspector there. Subsequently he removed to the Northwest. 

Amongst the best known of the later settlers at Duntroon was 
Francis Hewson, who arrived in 1842. He had come in 1820 from 
Ireland with his parents to Innisfil, where they were the first settlers 
in the township. He became the Township Treasurer of Nottawasaga 
in 1850, and held the position until his death, which occurred, February 
10, 1900. He also held other positions of trust, and was President of 
a Pioneer Society organized in Nottawasaga in 1892. 

Jas. Mair was the Free Church local preacher at a later period, 
and held services mostly in Gaelic, although he was also versed in Eng- 

16a (it) 


After the Rebellion of 1837, Archibald McAllister, moved his family 
from Toronto where he had been living, and purchased lot 27, con. 8, 
Nottawasag-a, near Duntroon, where he lived until a short time pre- 
vious to his death on December 15, 1893. His son, Dr. L. McAllister, 
was reeve of the Township for some years, and later, Township Clerk. 

As to the question of who kept the first store at Duntroon, there 
are two accounts in existence, as usual, one stating that William Mil- 
loy kept the first store, while another says that Francis Baxter kept 
the first. 

Some question as to the disposal of the five acre lots having arisen 
at a later day, William Gibbard, the surveyor, was employed to make 
a plan of those lots, as laid out upon lot 25, in the 8th and gth con- 
cessions. Mr. Gibbard 's plan, which is preserved in the Department 
of Lands at Toronto, is dated May 26, 1860. A burial lot and a 
school lot had been provided in the original survey. 

One by one the settlers on the five acre lots at Bowmore bought 
larger farms' further south and west, and moved to their new pur- 
chases, the settlers persisting in their work of clearing and moving 
further back. At an early date they opened the eighth line, or Hur- 
ontario Street, as it was called at a somewhat later date, southward to 
the Bowerman settlement at Dunedin. They opened this road, not- 
withstanding a series of formidable hills, deep valleys, the Devil's Glen 
itself, (near Glen Huron), and other frightful places to be crossed. A 
traveller along this road to-day journeys past houses and barns perched 
upon alarming hills that would frighten the bravest dweller of the flat 
country, yet all this land is as fertile as clay can be, and it attracted 
the early settlers thither. 

They soon learned how to navigate the steep hills with ease. They 
have a chain and shoe attached to the waggon, and when going down 
hill with a load they fix one wheel of the waggon on the shoe, attach- 
ing the latter to the fixed part of the waggon by the chain. With the 
.one wheel firmly set so that it cannot revolve, they move down the 
hill with ease and safety. For going up a hill, a trailing "dog" holds 
the waggon in its place while the horses rest. With these appliances 
they navigate the hills with almost as much ease as the denizens of the 
lower ground navigate the plains. 

The first post office at Duntroon was opened about the year 1836, 
and was known for many years in the post office annals as "Nottawa- 
saga. " By 1857 it had been changed to "Bowmore." The first post- 


master was Angus Campbell, who held the position for about twenty 
years, and after him Francis Hewson was appointed. 

The original town hail for the township was erected here but was 
burned down. At one time a considerable quantity of business was 
carried on at Duntroon, but the arrival of the railway altered the 
course of trade. For some years, however, after the first opening' ol 
Nottawasaga, the clearings around Duntroon made the main settle- 
ment in the township. 

The evidence of Chas. Rankin, the surveyor of this township, in 
regard to the slowness of its settlement up to 1838, is given in Lord 
Durham's Report, and has also been quoted in Dent's "Upper Can- 
adian Rebellion," Vol. i, p. 61. There had been no clergy reserves in 
Nottawasaga, and hence there had been a greater profusion of land 
grants to others. According to Mr. Rankin, the whole of the land in 
the townships of Nottawasaga and Collingwood had been granted, 
mostly to persons who did not become actual settlers, but the town- 
ships themselves were almost entirely unsettled (Collingwood Town- 
ship having then only one settler). So much wild land intervening 
between one settler and another, made communication amongst them 
extremely difficult. 

The Rev. John Climie, who had formerly been a settler in the 
Township of Innisfil, became the first resident minister of Nottawa- 
saga at Duntroon. In the Manuscript Minutes of the General Quarter 
Sessions for the Home District, under the date, April 6, 1841, is the 
following entry : "The Rev. John Climie of the Township of Nottawa- 
saga, minister of the Congregationalist Society, appeared and was 
recognized as such and received a certificate (to solemnize marriages) 
according to the statute, having first taken the oath of allegiance." To 
get this certificate Mr. Climie had been under the necessity of travelling 
to Toronto where the Quarter Sessions met, as this was before the 
erection of Simcoe into a separate district. Having obtained the 
license to marry couples, Mr. Climie was called upon quite frequently 
to perform the ceremony for the pioneers' sons and daughters. Mr. 
Climie built the first church in the township in 1842, a little south of 
Duntroon. The first Presbyterian congregation was organized at 
Duntroon in or about the year 1841, but there was no stationed minis- 
ter here until the Rev. John Campbell came in 1853. 

Some years ago, Mr. W. J. Honeyford furnished the following 
particulars of the first congregation to one of the local newspapers : 
"The first church was organized on July 20, 1841. It was Congrega- 


tional, with nine constituent members, who were the Rev. John Climie 
and his wife, John Moore and Mrs. Moore, William Throope, John 
Rogerson, Henry Hunter, Joseph Honeyford and E. F. Honeyford. " 

About the year 1838 William Ross built the first grist mill in this 
locality, on the upper part of the Batteau River on lot 23, con. 8, hav- 
ing received from Government a grant of land for the purpose. It is 
stated that Mr. Ross constructed nearly the whole of the mill with his 
own hands, even to the making of the millstones. About five years 
after the erection of the mill Mr. Ross lost his life through being 
caught in the machinery, the date being recorded as April 30, 1843, at 
the age of 56 years, in the inscription on the headstone in the Dun- 
troon Cemetery. 

Fred. T. Hodgson, of Collingwood, who had arrived in Nottawa- 
saga in 1848, and was familiar with the township's growth, wrote a 
series of "Nottawasaga Reminiscences," which appeared in the Col- 
lingwood Enterprise in 1907, in the issues of that newspaper for June 
13 and 27, and July n. They contain many references to the pioneer 
days at Duntroon, and in other parts of the township. 

Donald Blair also wrote a series of letters on "Early Days in Not- 
tawasaga," for the Collingwood Bulletin, in 1908, the initiaL letter 
appearing in the issue of that journal of August 6, and continuing for 
five weeks. Various interesting particulars are given by that writer, 
more especially about the early days of Duntroon, with which he was 
personally acquainted from his youth upward. 

In addition to the appellation of "Bowmore," the Village of Dun- 
troon was known as the "Scotch Corners." It was near this place 
that in the winter of 184 , Rev. Dr. Burns, the late distinguished 
Presbyterian divine, had an experience of travel which is too odd to 
"be omitted. On the occasion in question he was making a missionary 
tour among the outlying settlements in this northern country, and 
when close to Duntroon he was nearly shot for a bear. The details of 
the incident appear to have been something like these : 

In company with a friend he was driving thither through a snow- 
storm, and when at the foot of a hill near the village, the rig in which 
they were travelling upset and caused something to go wrong with the 
harness. In order to get oul of this predicament and proceed on their 
journey, it was necessary to get a piece of rope from a pioneer's cabin 
which was in sight at the top of the hill. So setting out on his errand, 
dressed in his great bearskin coat and cap, and with huge fur gauntlets 
on his hands, the travelling missionary found the hill so slippery and 


difficult of ascent, owing- to a recent thaw succeeded by keen frost, that 
he could not keep his feet, and so was obliged to get down on all-fours 
to proceed. Just at that time the woman of the house for which he was 
making, happened to come to the door, and through the falling snow 
espied the strange object coming toward them, whereupon she cried 
out to her husband : "Mac, get your gun ! here's a bear." The man 
rushed out with the gun in his hands, and was taking- sight, when he 
became conscious of the mistake, and burst out with a loud guffaw, 
and said, "Tuts, woman; why, that's Dr. Burns!" 


Soon after the formation of the settlement at Duntroon, a new 
one was begun on the tenth line and on the lands adjacent to it. This 
one was known as "the Back Settlement," as it lay closer to the 
Mountain ridge, across which there was no communication in the first 
years. The first settler close to the foot of the mountain was Donald 
Currie, a native of Islay. He had brought his family to Canada in 
1834, reaching the Township of Oro, where he spent his first Can- 
adian winter, and where one of his children died. The following sum- 
mer he moved his family to Nottawasaga, which he had visited by 
himself the summer before, and placed them on one of the five acre 
lots at Duntroon. As showing the tender care of Highland people for 
their domestic animals, for their first winter in this new settlement at 
Duntroon they picked basswood leaves in the fall and saved them for 
cow feed. These, with the assistance of some turnips they got from 
Duncan McNab who had arrived the season before them, and had 
grown a small crop, tog-ether with the browse, kept their cow alive 
over the. winter. 

After living- at the fiye acre lots for two or three years, he moved 
his family to the "Back Settlement," as already stated, taking up lot 
35, con. n, (S. half). About the year 1839, at the raising- of a log 
building- for Archibald McEwan, a log slid back and broke Donald 
Currie 's leg. There was no doctor nearer to the place than Barrie, 
which was about thirty miles distant, so before they could get Dr. 
Pass from the county town several days had elapsed, as a result of 
which his leg had to be amputated. There was no chloroform in those 
'days, but he stood the ordeal without murmuring-. 

Donald Currie died January 15, 1868, aged 80 years. Of his fam- 
ily who grew up to maturity, there were : Archibald, Laughlan, Peter, 
Flora, Ann (Mrs. Barr), Mary, Donald. The eldest, Archibald, received 

Jas. S. Boddy, Bradford, 1896. 

Thos. Devitt, Medonte, 1898. 

W. A. Boys, Barrie, 1907. D. C. Barr, Collingwood, 1908. 

Ex- Wardens of later years not included in the other Council Groups. 



a five acre lot, but after marriag-e took up lot 37, con. 12. A grand- 
son of the elder pioneer, Donald Currie Barr, of Collingwood, was 
Warden of the County in 1908. 

One of the pioneers in the same settlement was Archibald McEwan, 
who took up lot 31, con. 10. He had settled also for a short time on 
one of the five acre lots at Duntroon, before moving- to the "Back 

Another pioneer in the same part of the township was John McCal- 
lum. He came to Canada in 1836 and took up land in Sunnidale, but 
remained there for only one year. He then came to Nottawasaga and 
settled on lot 28, con. 10, where he resided until his death, March 
23, 1894. 

Andrew and David Jardine had settled in the five acre lots at 
Duntroon in 1834, and went to lot 30, con. 10, about the same time 
as the others who moved to this part of the township from the Gov- 
ernment block. At a later time Andrew Jardine was a Justice of the 
Peace and became the first Clerk of the Division Court. He died 
July 20, 1871, aged 70 years. David Jardine died May 27, 1865, aged 
73 years. Some interesting- Reminiscences of the pioneer days in 
Nottawasaga, by David Jardine, junior, appeared in the Colling-wood 
Enterprise of June 7, 1907. 

Amongst those who came to this part of the township at a 
slightly later period was John Macgillivray, who arrived with his 
family in 1848, having lived for a short time in North Carolina. He 
settled on lot 27, con. 12, where he lived until his death on April 21. 
1892. Several members of the family of this pioneer have occupied 
prominent positions in the country. 


The road allowance between lots 24 and 25, the whole road, in 
fact, from Sunnidale Corners to Duntroon (or Bowmore), was cleared 
out in the fall of 1834, and it was the pioneer's road for many years. 
Settlers began to locate in 1834, upon the Fourth Line of Nottawa- 
saga, which was soon opened out to meet the Crossroad northward. 
McEachren's tavern was erected at the meeting place of the two roads 
at an early time, and the place got the name of the "Fourth Line Cor- 
ners." At a later time it has been called Ballygrant, in which is 
included the settlement southward. 


John Mclntyre took up lot 24, con. 3, and settled on the cross- 
road at an early date, his patent being- dated May 26, 1836, and his 
name becoming- also attached to this locality. 

Southward, on the higher ground, the families of John and Joseph 
Bertles, Edmund Dugg-an, Patrick Dooling (or Dolan), Thomas Fene- 
lon, and a few others settled in 1834 or the following- year, soon after 
the township's survey, although they were not all located on the fourth 
line, but within easy distance of each other. Luke Harcourt also 
became an early settler in this small settlement of Irish Catholics, for 
a short time, on lot 17, con. 4, having come from the Township of 
Adjala, where we had occasion to notice him among-st the pioneers. 
In fact, several of the settlers in this part of Nottawasaga arrived by 
way of Adjala, having- reached Nottawasaga by a trail through the 
forest leading- from one township to the other, across the Pine Plains 
of Tosorontio. The old cemetery of the Roman Catholics on lot 13 
on the fourth line was the first cemetery of that denomination in this 
part of the country. Owing to the soil being so wet, notwithstanding 
the high elevation of the ground, the place was abandoned as a ceme- 
tery for the one upon lot 25, con. 6, but several of the original settlers 
are buried at the earlier one on the fourth line. 

To the northward of the settlement of Irish Catholics just men- 
tioned, a few families of Hig-hland Scots from Islay, also settled in 
the first years of the township's history, including- the families of 
Campbell, Currie, McCallum, McQueen and McLean. 

John Currie of this part of the township was one of the early 
school teachers, and was also Township Clerk for a period (1843-6, 

On the fourth line, at lot 20, the East Nottawasag-a Presbyterian 
Church, erected in 1854, has a pioneer graveyard, and is the resting- 
place for the remains of a larg-e number of early settlers. The build- 
ing is now a brick edifice, but was originally built of more primitive 
materials, in keeping- with the times in which it was erected. 


In the year 1834 a small group of families including- those of 
Swalm, Mattz, Kinder, Bulmer (Boomer), Knuff, Klippert, Moyer and 
Stoutenburg, left their homes in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, to find new 
abodes in the forests of Ontario. Their voyage across the ocean lasted 
thirteen weeks and was more hazardous than usual for even those days 
of perilous sea voyages. In a fierce hurricane the vessel was carried 


out of her course and nearly wrecked, but managed to hold on her voy- 
age after repairs by the ship carpenters. In addition to the perils of 
the sea, they had to face that terrible scourge the cholera, from which 
a number of the company died and were buried at sea. 

In course of time they reached Quebec, and after the hardships 
and delays of quarantine, or the apology for it which then existed, in 
the St. Lawrence River, the remnant came on to this county. After 
waiting for three weeks at Barrie, which then consisted of three or 
four small shanties, until the last portion of the Government Road 
had been opened out from Sunnidale Corners to Duntroon, this small 
group of pioneers set out for their destination in Nottawasaga in the 
latter part of October, 1834. With great difficulty they reached the 
new Government block of land, newly divided into five acre lots, where 
they were among the first to arrive. To each family there was allotted 
a five acre lot, with a certain amount of provisions in exchange for 
chopping or other labour, as already explained in the chapter on Sun- 
nidale. After spending about three years at the five acre lots, some of 
this small group were the first to form the settlement of Germans on 
the Sixth Line near the Batteau. 

The hardships of some of these German families were unusually 
severe. Edmund Duggan of the fourth line used to relate in after 
years how his first crops there consisted partly of turnips which he 
sold to the German settlers of the Batteau, and upon which they 
chiefly subsisted. He thought some of them were indolent and thrift- 
less, and hence they suffered want, but it is more probable that their 
half-famished condition had robbed them of their natural energy. 

It is stated how Boomer, (or Bulmer), once lost his way in the 
woods, and was nine days without food. Found by some Indians in a 
dying condition he was taken to their camp and restored, but it was 
not easy to understand to what settlement he belonged. After partial 
recovery the Indians took him to Toronto, and left him with the Gov- 
ernment officers, who sent him back to his family in Nottawasaga. 

Conrad Swalm, another of the group, made his way to the earlier 
settled Township of Markham, and earned enough to purchase food 
for his hungry wife and little ones at home on the plot. Altogether 
the sufferings and hardships of the pioneers of Simcoe County furnish 
no sadder story than the annals of this little group of settlers from 
Hesse-CasseL The cause perhaps lay, in part at least, m their want of 
knowledge of the new surroundings and conditions into which they had 
been transplanted. 



The families of Bowerman, Clark, Cooper, Hill and Sing came 
from the vicinity of Bloomfield in Hallowell Township, Prince Edward 
County, about the year 1834, and were the first families of the settle- 
ment around Dunedin, which some people mistakenly called the 
"Yankee Settlement." They were of U. E. Loyalist descent, and 
not U. S. citizens, but they had the Bay of Quinte dialect, which was 
distinctly of the "Down-east Yankee" kind, and that gave rise to the 
mistaken name. It is said that these families, or at least some of 
them, were of Quaker origin. This settlement would appear to have 
been the first in the township, some having come into it by way of 
Orangeville and Homing's Mills in the summer of 1834. 

In the Bowermen family there were four brothers, Joseph, Judah, 
Israel and Benjamin Bowerman. This settlement was formed under 
the direction of the first named, Joseph Bowerman, who was also con- 
nected at various times with the opening of new roads in the vicinity. 
He died February 20, 1877, in his 66th year. Judah Bowerman built 
the first mill at Dunedin at an early date. 

The River Road, passing through Dunedin and following the 
Noisy River, was opened at an early period of the settlement. 

The name Dunedin was given to the post office about the year 

Near Lavender, the families of Coyle, Mastin and Tupper settled 
about the year 1834. Peter Mastin died April 28, 1878, in his 82nd 
year. Wm. Bulmer, another pioneer of this neighbourhood, died May 
4, 1899, in his 77th year. 


! Nulty & Webster built the Creemore Mills on the Mad River about 
tihe year 1845, having formed a partnership with each other for this 
purpose. In connection with this mill, Mr. Webster had a small store, 
the first one in the place, and G. I. Bolster came as a clerk in this 
store. The post office was opened in 1849, with Edward Webster as 
postmaster. Subsequently Mr. Bolster carried on a business of his 
own, and became the postmaster. At a later day he was Inspector of 
Weights and Measures, with headquarters at Orillia. Launcelot G. 
Bolster, the pioneer of the family of this name, died June 3, 1867, in 
his 8oth year. 



In November, 1883, the County Council passed a By-law for the 
erection of Creemore into a Police Village. It thus became the first 
Police Village created in this county, and police trustees were to be 
elected for the village. 

In June, 1889, the County Council passed a By-law appointing 
James A. Spence as enumerator to take the census of Creemore. In 
this case the council gave some time for the taking of the census of 
the village, as the Beeton Lawsuit (Fenton v. County Simcoe), three 
years before this, had had a wholesome effect upon their deliberations. 
At the next session of the council (November) it appeared by Mr. 
S'pence's enumeration return that Creemore had 753 inhabitants, which 
was more than the required population, within the limits of 500 acres, 
and it was therefore entitled to incorporation, for which the Council 
passed a By-law, November 20, 1889. The first returning officer 
appointed was Joseph Hood, and the first reeve elected in January, 
1890, was James A. Spence. 

On the higher ground to the south of Creemore and Avening, some 
settlers had established themselves at early times. Amongst these 
were John Lott, Robert Martin, James Matchett and Hamilton Nee- 
lands. Hamilton Neelands, jr., served the township as deputy-reeve 
and reeve for several years, and afterward took a Government posi- 
tion. During his latest years he was in the Inland Revenue office, 
London, Ontario, where he died, March i, 1893. 

In this part of the township, (viz., south of Creemore), John 
Rhodes had the first threshing machine in the fifties. It was one of 
the primitive kind, viz., without a separator attached to it. Mr. 
Rhodes, who was a native of Yorkshire, England, died October i, 
1895, in his Sist year. 

In this part of the township, Joseph Honeyford, sr., and W. J. 
Honeyford, later of Alberta, and formerly of Avening, were also 
among the first settlers. 


George Carruthers, a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, came to 
Buffalo, N.Y., in 1848, and in the following year came to the site of 
Avening, where he chopped and cleared an opening in the forest, to 
which he moved his family in 1851. 

Frederick C. Thornbury came from West Gwillimbury where he 
had kept a tavern about 1845 and later, and built grist and saw mills 
at Avening about the year 1860. These passed into the hands of his 


son, W. H. Thornbury, who became also the first postmaster on the 
establishment of the office, February ist, 1864. The latter was reeve 
of Nottawasaga in 1868-9. F- C. Thornbury died January 16, 1872, 
aged 63 years, and W. H. Thornbury died in New York, in September, 

George Carruthers and sons, who had been the pioneers, as men- 
tioned above, also erected mills about the same time as the mills of 
Mr. Thornbury. One of the sons of Mr. Carruthers, the pioneer, viz., 
John J. Carruthers, was reeve of Nottawasaga in 1870-2, and also in 
1874-6; he went to New Zealand in 1882. George Carruthers, jr., of 
the mills, died April 25, 1906, in his 67th year. And Wm. G. Car- 
ruthers has been postmaster at Avening for several years. 

It would appear that the builders of mills on the Mad and Noisy 
Rivers, which supply excellent water powers, began the erection of 
mills on the upper parts, and established them in rotation down the 
stream. Thus, beginning with the earliest at Dunedin, then the mills 
at Creemore in 1845, and those at Avening about 1860, followed each 
other down stream into the flat lands, the hills having been settled 
and cleared before the easterly lower parts. 

When the Carruthers family settled at Avening in the early 
fifties, there was only another settler on the second line northward, 
near Cashtown of the present time. 


Jas. Cooper built a sawmill at Glen Huron at an early date, which 
was probably the first mill at the place ; but it was a small one, and 
he either sold or abandoned it in 1852, to build another at the Batteau, 
on the rise of the prospect of the railway passing there. The latter 
undertaking is mentioned in its proper place under the heading of the 

Jas. Hamilton was at a later day one of the well known residents 
of this neighbourhood, from his connection with the Township and 
County Councils for a number of years. His death occurred in Novem- 
ber, 1894. His son, W. H. Hamilton, was a county commissioner, 
and Warden in 1900. 

Another well known settler, who came here about 1845, was Jas. 
D. Stephens, or as he was more familiarly called, "Tally-Ho" S'te- 
phens. He was a man of more than usual energy, and lived in this 
neighbourhood until about the year 1880. He succeeded John Frame, 
in 1845, as tne District Councillor for Nottawasaga, and married Mr. 





Frame's widow for a second wife. At an early date he built a carding 
mill at Glen Huron, also the first grist and saw mills at Hurontario, 
as it is stated under that heading", and had various other mercantile 
and manufacturing- branches of business. About the year 1880, he 
retired to Winnipeg to live with his son, where he died, November 9, 

The "Green Bush" tavern on the eighth at lot 18 was a famous 
hostelry in the pioneer days, kept by Jas. D. Stephens, who also had 
a store here. The hospitality of the place still lives on in a group of 
old apple trees which supply, in their season, the birds and squirrels 
with an abundance of fruit, although almost every other sign of the life 
of former days has departed except the foundations. 

Opposite the "Green Bush," the family of Robertson were early 
settlers. One of the members of this family, and Calvin Throope of 
Sunnidale, afterward entered into partnership with each other as 
Robertson & Throope in the Atlantic Iron Works, Brooklyn, N.Y. , 
and made sugar refinery machines. 


One of the first settlers at Singhampton was Richard Richmond, 
who built the first sawmill here in 1840, on the Mad River. 

The village itself, which is half a mile west of the mill site, was 
surveyed in 1856 by Cyrus and Josiah R. S'ing, on their property. 
These brothers had come from Prince Edward County, as it is stated 
under the heading of the Dunedin settlement, and had removed to the 
upper parts of the Mad River in 1852 or earlier. 

The post office was established in 1852, under the name of the 
Mad River Mills, of which the early postmaster was Andrew Yuill ; 
he was succeeded at a later time by Josiah R. Sing, whose family 
name was given to the office. Cyrus Sing subsequently became a set- 
tler at Meaford, where his death occurred, April 25, 1904, at an 
advanced age. 


This place had its origin with the opening of the railway in 1854. 
The first settler was Andrew Coleman who was a foreman or sub-con- 
tractor on the construction of this part of the Northern Railway. Mr. 
Coleman came to Stayner in 1854 and built the first hotel on the site of 
the "Queen's" when the rest of the land now covered by the build- 
ings of the town was almost an unbroken forest. This first building 


was a shanty, and was used as a boarding-house for the men employed 
on the railway construction. Mrs. Coleman was the first white woman 
to live in the place, and after the completion of the railway the family 
remained as permanent residents. He sold the original site in two or 
three years and built other hotels in the place. Another of the first 
settlers was Gideon Phillips, who built a sawmill, and was appointed 
a Justice of the Peace, April 3, 1857. 

For a number of years the place was known as Nottawasaga S'ta- 
tion, and the post office, which was established in 1855 with Donald 
Baine, a lumber merchant and storekeeper, as the first postmaster, was 
also known by the same name. About the year 1857, the village, but 
not the post office, was called Dingwall, but about the year 1864 the 
name was changed to Stayner, which it finally retained. 

In June, 1872, the County Council passed a By-law for the incor- 
poration of Stayner as a village, with A. M. Ingersoll as the first 
returning officer. The first reeve elected (for 1873) was George 

The Ontario Legislature passed an Act to incorporate the Town 
of Stayner, March 23, 1888, as 51 Viet., chap. 61. 


One of the good mill privileges on the Pretty River was where 
Hurontario Street crosses it, and here Buist & Melville built saw and 
grist mills in or about 1853. They had been carrying on business at 
the Old Village in the earlier years of the fifties, and then took up 
the erection of the big mills at Nottawa, where they also had a 
general store. 

After the opening of the railway, various sales of vacant lots took 
place on "wild cat" schemes in this part of the township, and one 
of these sales was advertised to take place, October 14, 1856, at Col- 
lingwood, the property to be sold consisting of building lots on lot 37, 
con. 8, of Nottawasaga, at Nottawa Mills. About this time Bour- 
chier & Lyall had a saw-mill near this place. 

Another of the early stores at Nottawa was kept by Jas. Cooper, 
who had erected the mill at the Batteau, as is stated under that head- 
ing. In Mr. Cooper's store at Nottawa, two clerks were employed by 
him, F. T. Hodgson and Thomas Long, afterward well known resi- 
dents of Collingwood. It was with Mr. Cooper that Mr. Long made 
his entry into business life, afterward so successful, his first wages 
having been $12 a month and board. 




James Cooper built a mill at the Batteau River in 1852, about 2 
miles from its outlet, where the railway crosses it, and a hamlet of 
some size grew up. There was an overshot waterwheel in use in this 
mill, which in a year or two passed into the hands of Jas. D. Stephens, 
who had been carrying on business in the Hurontario mills at the bay 
shore for some time before this. Mr. Stephens also built at the Bat- 
teau another mill with a central discharge waterwheel. 

On selling his mill at the Batteau, Mr. Cooper built a store at 
Nottawa. Mr. Cooper was one of those who had come from Prince 
Edward County with the Bowermans, Sings, and others, to the Dune- 
din settlement, as already noticed, and had carried on a small saw- 
mill at Glen Huron before coming to Batteau and Nottawa. 
Ultimately Mr. Cooper went to Bracebridge, where he carried on a sash 
and door factory, saw-mill, etc., and died there. 

About the year 1866, Batteau was called "Warrington," but the 
name did not remain long with it. 


It may have been observed in our peregrinations through this 
township that the various rapid streams flowing down out of the glens 
in the face of the "Mountain" furnished good water power for num- 
erous pioneer mills. One of the good mill privileges on the Pretty 
River was at its outlet into Nottawasaga Bay, and here were the 
Hurontario Mills built early in the forties about a mile to the east of 
Collingwood of to-day. The place had previously been a frequent 
resort and camping place of the Indians for fishing and other purposes. 

Of late years this place has been called the Old Village. The 
first person who began to build a saw-mill at the outlet was Francis 
Baxter, who had a store at Duntroon, and who obtained the patent 
for lots 43 and 44, con. 7, (70 acres), February 14, 1843. Soon after- 
ward he got timber out for the mill, but did not carry out the work 
any further. James Connell took up the project and completed it, 
getting the patent for N. half 43 and lot 44, con. 8, (200 acres), on 
September 24, 1844. The business was then conducted by Jas. D. 
Stephens anl his brother M. N. Stephens, who also built a grist mill 
at the mouth of Pretty River in 1845, and conducted them for some 


Andrew Marckell and a Mr. Cook soon opened inns at the place, 
which was for some time the only spot showing- signs of life along 
this shore of the bay. 

In the industry of boat-building, Hector McAllister built the first 
boat at the Old Village, having- obtained a patent for land in this 

locality in 1856. 



The beginning of the town took place immediately upon the selec- 
tion of the place as the terminus of the new railway during- or perhaps 
a short time before the winter of 1852-3, which was two years before 
the completion of the line. Joel Underwood was the nominal owner 
of 335 acres of the site of the town, nearly opposite the small islets 
or rocks known as the Hen and Chickens. And when the place was 
selected for the terminus, a small group of two or three men entered 
into partnership with Mr. Underwood, who supplied the land, to erect 
a steam saw-mill, which, with the board dwellings that soon arose 
around it, became the nucleus of the future town. 

Mr. Underwood's silent partners, who were Sheriff Smith, David 
Morrow, and the Rev. Lewis Warner, and who were then residents 
of the county town, (although Sheriff Smith shortly afterward took up 
his residence in Collingwood), had got some inkling- through county 
official sources that the Hen and Chickens terminus had been, or 
would be, selected. With the information which had thus become 
known to them, this company lost no time in making- a start on the 
new town site. As Mr. Underwood's mill was built two years before 
the railway was actually completed, the boiler and machinery for it 
had to be hauled by team, and the hauling was done by John L. 
Warnica of Tollendal. Mr. Underwood was a Yankee who had arrived 
here about the year 1847, and being- of a loquacious turn, although 
without capital, floated the project successfully. 

Prior to the choosing- of the place as the railway terminus, the 
survey of the harbour, which was the first of many surveys if we 
except Bayfield's general survey, was made by Sandford Fleming 
(afterward Sir Sandford Fleming), who was an assistant engineer on 
the railway construction, and whose family relatives were well known 
early settlers at Craigleith. One of Mr. Fleming's assistants or help- 
ers in this survey work was the late Alex. Smith of Vespra. 

Mr. Underwood was the nominal owner of the land on which the 
town's first buildings were built, but Sheriff Smith had patented, on 

Chas, Cameron, Collingwood, Warden, 1879. 



November 4, 1852, lot 43, (200 acres), and on November 22, 1851, lot 
44, (135 acres), in the gth concession of Nottawasaga, and afterward 
had them surveyed into building lots by Wm. Gibbard, the surveyor. 
Besides the steam saw mill, erected at the outlet of what is still called 
Underwood's Creek, Mr. Underwood opened a store. This was on 
First Street, just south of the outlet of the Creek, while the sawmill 
was on the opposite side. 

Joseph H. Lawrence was also one of the first settlers of the town, 
and became one of the first office-bearers in the Methodist Church on 
its establishment in 1853, and the Superintendent of the Sunday School 
on its formation in the following year. Mr. Lawrence was appointed 
Town Clerk in 1858, and held the office until his death in June, 1877. 
It is stated that James Smith had the first store in Collingwood, 
and George Collins the first tavern. 

As to the choice of a name for the town, the adjacent township 
of Collingwood, under the name of Alta, had been surveyed twenty 
years prior to the first survey of building lots in the town, and the 
name of Alta abandoned for that of Collingwood. But as to who 
actually applied it to the new railway terminus of 1852-3, there is a 
slight difference in the published reports. One account of how the 
harbour and railway terminal point got its name at the instance of 
D. E. Buist is recorded by David Williams in his paper on the nam- 
ing of the post offices in Simcoe County, already referred to in 
another chapter. 

A few boats started singly to run regular trips with the opening 
of navigation in 1855, but the first regular line of steamboats, in con- 
nection with the railway, began in 1857. 

Collingwood was incorporated as a town under a local Act of the 
Canadian Legislature passed June 10, 1857, for that purpose, as 20 
Viet., chap. 96. In this way it did not pass through the "village" 
stage. By this Act, the town ceased to be part of Nottawasaga on 
January i, 1858, and became a municipality by itself. Wm. B. Hamil- 
ton was chosen by the Council, as the law then required, the first 
Mayor of the town for 1858, and Jas. Telfer was elected the first reeve 
to represent the town in the County Council. John McWatt, who was 
chosen Mayor in the following year, 1859, was the first Mayor of the 
town chosen by the votes of the people, the law having been changed 
in this particular. Mr. McWatt was elected Mayor for succeeding 
years up to and including 1866, in which year he removed to the 
county town. He had formerly resided in Barrie until he was appointed 
collector of customs at Collingwood in 1856. It was during John 


Me Watt's Mayoralty that H. R. H., the Prince of Wales, now King 
Edward VII., visited Canada in 1860, and the Collingwood Town 
Council decided to invite the Prince to visit the place. Mayor McWatt 
was despatched to Quebec to obtain the promise of a visit from His 
Royal Hig-hness, the Council granting- $50 toward the expenses of the 
mayor's trip on this important errand, which resulted in complete suc- 
cess, and the subsequent visit of the Prince was a good "ad" for the 
town and county. 

A Jubilee History of Collingwood (published on the occasion of 
Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 1887) was issued by the Collingwood Enter* 
prise-Messenger, and contains the chief doings of the town council 
from the beginning in 1858 until 1876, with much other historic 
material. Some of the aldermanic disputes of those early days of the 
town furnish quaint reading for the people of to-day. The author's 
name is not given, but it is fair to suppose that important parts of that 
interesting town history were prepared by John Hogg, who was one 
of the pioneers of the town, having arrived in May, 1856, and estab- 
lished the Enterprise at the beginning of the following year. He 
was reeve of the town for fourteen years, beginning with 1863, and 
was Warden of the County in 1873, besides holding various other 
offices of trust at different periods of his life. His death occurred 
February n, 1901. 

Several bad fires have occurred in the town at different time?, but 
the one on Sunday, September 25, 1881, was perhaps the most disas- 
trous of them all, destroying as it did a large portion of Hurontario 
Street, (the main thoroughfare), in the business part of the town. 

In June, 1882, the ratepayers of the town having approved of a 
By-law for the purpose, Collingwood issued debentures to the amount 
of $25,000 to assist in building and establishing a Dry Dock and Ship- 
building Yard in the town. 

Fred. T. Hodgson prepared for the Board of Trade an extended 
Report for the year 1893, giving much information about the town. 
This was issued in the form of a booklet in 1894, and contained a 
sketch of the history of the town and its vicinity. 

John Hogg, Collingwood. Warden, 1873. 




In solving the question as to who were the real pioneers of Sim- 
coe County, one important event readily furnishes us with a key. The 
Rebellion of 1837 is a distinct dividing line, in relation to which those 
who settled before it were the real pioneers of the county, the period 
to which they belonged standing out by itself, sharp and clear. It is 
with this period that the contents of this second volume mainly deal, 
except where it became necessary to complete the History by introduc- 
ing such persons and events of the subsequent years as seemed requi- 
site, especially the more prominent of those who took part in the public 
affairs of the county. 

Two or three years after the troubles of the Rebellion were at 
an end, other settlers began to flock in once more, and the stream of 
immigration and settlement was kept up to present times. But the 
hardships of those who settled after the Rebellion do not compare in 
severity with those of the people who came before it. In so far, then, 
as this volume is a monument to the memory of the early settlers and 
pioneers of the county, however imperfect it may be, its scope is 
clearly denned as to time by the Rebellion, and by the cessation of the 
flow of settlement to the district for a few years therafter, which 
marks off the preceding time into a distinct period by itself the period 
of the true pioneers. 

To build a monument to any group of persons, and complete it, 
there is at least one thing necessary, viz., to give their names. This 
is not so easy in the present case as it may appear to be, but the fol- 
lowing collection of about 1,800 names makes some approach to com- 
pleteness, and at all events will be a useful working list for the benefit 
of other workers in this line of research. 

In seeking for a basis of the pioneer lists, the writer found that 
George Walton's Home District Directory for 1837 contained some 
lists of those who were believed to be actual settlers at the date of its 
publication. The lists in this Directory, however, had many mistakes 
and needed much editing, which was not an easy task after the lapse 
of more than seventy years. They were full of misprints, misspelled 
names, and other errors, and did not contain full lists. Besides, no 



lists appeared for two townships, which at the time the Directory was 
prepared, had been outlying- areas with only a few settlers, viz., Not- 
tawasaga and Tosorontio, so it became necessary to construct entirely 
new lists for these two townships. 

Amongst the various sources of information that the present 
writer had to use for the further improvement of Walton's lists, which 
were adopted as the basis, the Patent lists for the various townships 
proved to be helpful, and were used to supply fuller particulars as well 
as a number of corrections. But the Patent lists contain the names of 
many who were not actual settlers, being- merely the owners of the 
land in its wild condition, and accordingly this source of information 
was of limited value for making- the lists complete. In most cases also, 
the actual settler received his patent long- after settlement, so the 
lists were not serviceable as to date of settlement, although they showed 
frequently who the original settler was. 

It is to be feared, therefore, that these lists as they here stand 
have still a few errors, but they are an approach to the truth. Doubt- 
less, they still contain a few names of U. E. Loyalists, who received 
lands but did not become actual settlers. As it was not easy to dis- 
tinguish these in the lists in every case, from actual settlers, it was 
deemed advisable not to elide any name but such as was actually 
known to be not an original settler at any time. 

Settlers Before 1837. 

The Villages. 


(Lots 103111, inclusive.) 

E. East. W. West. No. Lot on 

Settler. Yonge Street. 

Arksey, George 105, E. 

Arksey, John 103, W. 

Ayherst, Francis 107, E. 

Bell, Neil 108, E. 

Bond, Thomas G 108, E. 

Brooks, Samuel 104, E. 

Gumming, William 105, E. 

Darton, Samuel 105, E. 

Dennis, Enos 105, E. 

Edmonds, Ira 107, W. 

Garton, John 103, E. 

Hare, George 108, E. 

Henderson, Thomas 107, E. 

Hughes, Samuel 105, E. 

Jakeway, A 1 03, W. 

Johnston, Thomas Ill, E. 

Johnston, Ralph 11 1, E. 

Laughton, Wm 108, E. 

Levellie, Lues 105, E. 

Lount, George 103, W. 

Lount, Samuel 103, W. 

Lundy, Reuben 104, E. 

Lundy, Israel 104, E. 

Millard, M 103, E. 

McLeod, Alex 105, E. 

McMeighan, Robert Ill, E. 

McMillan, Archibald 105, E. 

Phillips, Richard 104, W. 

18 (n) [2(55] 



No. Lot on 
Settler. Yonge Street. 

Phillips, Wm Ill, E. 

Phelps, Francis 105, E. 

Playter, George 107, W. 

Povey, Wm 105, E. 

Shaw, Thomas 108, E. 

Sloan, William 105, E. 

Squire, Philemon 1 1 1 , E. 

Stewart, Robert 105, E. 

Sweezy, Peter 108, E. 

Tyson, Isaiah 107, E. 

West, Amos 108, W. 

Wiggins, S 105, E. 

Wilson, Alfred . . . 108, E. 

Wilson, Cornelius 108, E. 

Wright, George 103, E. 


Settler. Con. Lot. Occupation. 

Campbell, James 6 15 Shoemaker. 

Dewson, John 7 16 Magistrate. 

Driffel, Thomas 6 15 Blacksmith. 

Drury, James 6 15 Merchant. 

Edmondson, John 6 16 Innkeeper. 

Evans, James 7 16 Constable. 

Gordon, John 6 15 Waggonmaker. 

Hill, Joseph 6 15 

McGee, Letitia 7 15 

Peacock, John 7 16 Storekeeper. 


Settler. Occupation. ' 

Algeo, R. N Half-pay officer (Captain), Allandale. 

Boyington, Lucius 

Bingham, John Innkeeper. 

Caldwell, Leslie Merchant. 

Campbell, Dugald Tailor. 

18a (n) 


BARRIE. Concluded, 

Settler. Occupation. 

Campbell, James Shoemaker. 

Carney, Richard Innkeeper. 

Carson, William. 

Cobb, Richard Innkeeper and mail carrier. 

Cunning-ham, Campbell.... Shoemaker. 
Duggan, Jane. 
Edgar, David . 

Fidel, Blacksmith. 

Graham, Andrew Tanner, and general store. 

Graham, Thomas Carpenter. 

Haggart, Timothy (See also Sunnidale) . 

Hewson, Francis .... Justice of the Peace. 

Lane, Jonathan Tailor. (See Kempenfeldt). 

Mac Watt, John Merchant. 

Martin, Francis . Carpenter and constable. 

Meighen, Francis. 

Meldrum, Thrift Innkeeper. 

McCoy, Richard Shoemaker. 

Morrison, James Afterward innkeeper at Craighurst. 

McCausland, John. 

McCausland, David Innkeeper. 

McDonald, John Tailor. 

McGuire, P Journeyman tailor. 

Nesbitt, William Carpenter. 

Perry, John From Perry's Corners (Cookstown). 

Ross, David S Merchant , 

Ross, Robert Surveyor. 

Sanford, Sidney M Merchant. 

Smith, Thomas Blacksmith . 

Stokes, George Carpenter. 

Strong, William. 
Walker, Alex. 


Atkinson, John. 
Ball, George. (1833.) 
Bryant, Adam. 
Collins, Charles. 


KEMPENFELDT. Continued. 

Settler. Occupation. 

Fullerton, John. 
Johnson, James. 

Ladd Innkeeper. 

Lane, Jonathan. (1834.) 
Mann, William. 

Oliver, Robert Captain. (See also Oro). 

Summers, James. (Somers) 
Vandeburgh, Barnett. 

Settler. Con. Lot. Occupation. 

Alley, Gerald 4 9 Indian farm instructor. 

Bailey, Robert 4 9 

Borland, Andrew 4 9 Indian trader. 

Bowers, Michael 4 9 Blacksmith. 

Dallas, James 4 9 

Darling 1 , Paul 4 9 Doctor, Indian reserve. 

Gill, Jacob 5 10 Millwright and Sup't of 

works, Indian post. 

Godoir, Antoine 6 11 (Gaudaur) 

Lamb, Peter 4 9 

Lawrence, J. M 4 9 Law (Indian teacher) or 

Larmour ? 
Moffat, Andrew 5 9 Teacher, Indian school, and 


Roe, John J 4 9 

Scott, Jonathan, Rev . . 5 9 Methodist missionary. 

Thompson, John 6 10 

Wilson, Leonard 5 10 Sup't for Beeman, the Gov't 

contractor ? 


Armour, James Canteen keeper. 

Bell, W. C. 
Beman, Eli. 
Boyer, George. 
Burnie, James. 



Settler. Occupation. 

Cadieu, Andrew. 

Collombes, Louis (sometimes as Columbus.) 

Corbiere, Lewis. 
Croteau, J. B. 

Cummings, Lewis Lieutenant. 

Daniel, Mary. 
Faighan, William. 
Farlinger, James. 

Gordon, George Trader among- the Indians. 

Hamilton, James M Storekeeper. 

Hurd, J. C. 
Ingall, Lieutenant. 

Jeffrey, Stephen Innkeeper. 

Johnson, Lawrence. 

Keating, James Fort Adjutant. 

Kennedy, Edward. 
King, Athenias. 
La Ronde, Charles. 
Leduc, Thomas. 

Lemais, J. B (sometimes as Lemay. ) 

Lemire, Henry Modeste. 
Mesier, Joseph. 

Mitchell, Andrew Trader among- the Indians. 

Moberly, Captain R. N . . . . Agent, Bank of U. C. 

O'Donovan, Samuel. 

Quigley, James. 

Rawson, Sentlow. 

Revoke, Dedin. 

Richardson, Samuel. 

Simpson, William Trader among the Indians. 

Smith, John. 
Smith, Thomas. 

Solomon, William Government Interpreter. 

Varnac, James. 
Vessieur, Andre. 

Wallace, Robert Innkeeper. 

Warren, James. 




Settler. Park Lot, 

Boudria, Antoine 40 (sometimes as Beaudry.) 

Bouchier, J. B. 
Chevrette, Louis. 
Freismith, Joseph. 

Frichette, Etienns 17 

Gerroux, Pierre . . 4 

Lacroix, John. 

Lafreniere, Antoine 18 

Lang-lade, Charles 35 

LaPlante, Pierre 38 

Laramie, James A . 

Lavallee, Denis 5 

Le Garde, J. B 37 

Legris, J. Baptiste 32 

Letard, Joseph (St. Onge, dit Latard, Joseph/ 

Mitchell, George. 
Precour, Augustin. 

Pombert, Cyril 12 

Recolle, Joseph 39 

Rawson, Thomas. . : 2 (patent to Sentlow Ravvson.) 

Roy, Joseph 1 

Sicard, Francis 41 (as Francois Secord.) 

Sorelle, Pierre 26 (Pierre Blette, or Sorrel.) 

Topier, Widow 3 (sometimes as Taupier.) 

Vasseur, Charles 6 

The Townships. 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Barnes, Michael 1 26 

Beatty, William 5 3 (W|) 

Beatty, Matthew 5 4 

Beatty, Samuel 5 1 (W) 

Brown, W 5 10 

Brown, John 3 32 

Barton, Thomas 6 13 (W|) 


ADJALA. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Barton, William 6 14 

Callin, James 5 16 

Campbell, James 7 13 

Cassidy, James 6 30 

Cassidy, William 1 29 

Cullaton, Cornelius 4 21 (E|) 

Coleman, Joseph 5 32 

Connors, Edward 6 12 

Connors, John 6 14 

Connors, Patrick 5 15 

Connors, Michael 5 15 

Conway, Matthew 3 28 

Corngan, James 6 9 

Cosgrave, James 7 1 (E-J) 

Cobean, John 3 3 

Crossan, David \ . 3 7 (W|) 

Creage, John 2 3 

Darraugh, James 2 5 (W) 

Devine, William 4 27 (E| ) 

Duross, James 8 12 

Egan, Edward 7 15 

Egan, Kiran 6 13 (E|) 

Egan, Michael 5 9 (E|) 

Egan, John 6 12 

Elliott, William 3 6 (E) 

Farley, William 1 19 (W*) 

Farley, John 2 21 

Farley, David 2 19 

Feheley, James 4 13 

Feheley, Patrick 4 14 (W) 

Ferguson, Hugh 5 31 (W|) 

Fitzpatrick, James 2 10 

Foley, Michael 2 31 

Ford, William 1 3 

Gallagher, Patrick 5 31 (E|) 

Gallagher, John 3 30 

Goulding, Andrew 4 14 (E*-) 

Grannett, Joseph 7 13 


ADJALA. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Gunning-, William 4 1 

Hall, Jones 3 6 

Hamilton, James 6 10 

Hamilton, Alexander 6 7 (W|) 

Hamilton, Thomas 6 10 

Hampton, James 7 14 

Harcourt, Luke 8 7 

Haffey, Michael 5 14 

Hoath, Robert 4 4 

Hoath, William 4 4 

Headon, John * 10 

Healy, Michael 5 29 (Ei) 

Heaslip, Samuel 4 29 (WJ) 

Hollend, Felix 7 12 

Hollend, Thomas 6 20 

Huntley, Harvey 7 14 (EJ) 

Innis, James 4 6 

Irwin, Thomas 4 31 

Jackson, George 2 2 

Johnson, William 7 6 

Keough, Owen 8 14 

Keenan, James, Sr. 6 15 

Keenan, Robert 6 15 

Keenan, Thomas 6 16 

Keenan, James 6 19 

Keenan, John 3 16 (E|) 

Langley, Thomas 4 29 

Leavins, George 1 16 (W 

Leavins, James 1 17 

Leavins, Edward 1 17 

Lee, John 2 7 

Leggett, William 2 5 

Livingston, Wm 4 3 

Lynch, Morty 6 28 (part) 

McGovern, Michael 4 13 

Maggott, Edward 2 6 

Malone, John 5 13 

Marshall, Alex 5 4 


ADJALA. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Marshall, James 5 3 

Mason, Stewart 2 1 (E|) 

Mitchell, Robert 3 1 

Morrow, William 8 9 

Moore, Robert 3 29 

Morin, James 5 19 (W) 

Morin, John 5 20 (E-|) 

Moon, Peter 1 1 

Mullin, Michael 4 22 (E|) 

Murphy, Felix 5 6 

Murphy, James 3 9 

Murphy, John 5 16 

McCaulay, John 1 12 

McCabe, Thomas 6 17 

McCabe, Paul 6 17 

McCann, Michael ... 2 13 (W|-) 

McCarthy, David 8 18 

McCarroll, John 5 28 

McCulloch, Henry 7 11 

McCulloch, Robert 1 4 

McCutcheon, Robert 1 30 

McElroy, Patrick 5 18 (Wl) 

McFarlane, John 1 14 

McFarlane, Terence 1 10 (W) 

McFarlane, Felix 2 10 

McGunnis, Thomas 4 1 

Mcllroy, Hugh 6 18 

McKenna, James 3 7 (Ei) 

McLey, Copeland 2 8 (W) 

McLaughlin, Lawrence. .. 8 1 

McMahon, James 5 13 (E|) 

McNamara, John 2 9 

Nevins, Robert 5 17 

O'Leary, Daniel 7 2 

O'Neil, Henry 4 11 

Patterson, Thomas 8 8 

Patton, Patrick 6 9 

Pendleton, William 1 13 



ADJ A LA. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Pidg-eon, Samuel 3 9 & 10 (E halves.) 

Proctor, William 1 16 

Quierson, Peter 6 3 

Reany, William 2 4 (E|) 

Ryan, William 5 26 (E|) 

Ryan, Patrick 6 4 

Sirrs, William. 4 8 

Shaw, Thomas 5 17 

Sloan, James 4 6 (E^) 

Snell, Georg-e 2 1 

Small, Daniel 7 10 (El) 

Spellian, Daniel 7 4 (W|) 

Stewart, William 2 18 (W|) 

Trimble, Hamilton 3 31 (Wl) 

Walker, William 5 8 

Ward, John 2 6 (W) 

Webb, John 1 23 (E|) 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Ag-new, John 10 1 

Allen, William 1 11 

Annett, John 6 2 

Arnold, James 11 5 

Arnold, Alexander 11 5 

Arnold, Thomas 10 3 (E|) 

Assip, John 4 4 (W^) 

Ayherst, William 10 11 

Bateman, John 11 11 

Bell, S 10 11 

Bell, Wm 10 10 

Blackstock, John 11 19 (E|) 

Blackstock, William 9 18 

Blackstock, Thomas 11 18 (E|) 

Blackstock, John 11 9 

Brice, John 1 6 (Bryce 

Brice, Robert 1 6 


E S S A . Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Bullock, James 1 5 

Cassin, James 10 13 

Chapman, Charles 8 7 (E^) 

Coleman, Wm. . 9 2 

Coleman, Andrew 9 2 ',.'~ 

Cunning-ham, Wm 9 5 

Dinwoody, George 10 1 

Dolen, Michael 11 IS'fwi) 

Duft, Thomas 9 

Gilroy, Robert j& 

Hall, William 4 

Handy, Charles 4 

Highland, Wm 10 

Johnston, John 4 

Kinlor, Robert 6 

Lewis, David 11 

Lowes, Daniel 11 

Mooney, Robert 7 

Mooney, Henry ! 7 

Morris, Henry 9 

Morrow, Hugh 9 

McClain, John 8 

McCIellan, David 2 

McKeown, James. . 11 

Nicholson, Thomas 8 

Robinson, James. 

Rooney, Henry 8 

Ross, William 11 

Ruthven, Alex 1 

Ruthven, Robt. Sr 1 

Ruthven, Robt. Jr 1 

Smith, James 4 

Somerville, Pearce 7 

Speers, James .... 10 

Speers, Joseph 7 

Stevenson, Wm 1 

Strong, John 10 

Strong, Wm 10 


E S S A . Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot 

Todd, Walter 4 3 

Whiteside, Robt 8 4 

Wilkinson, Thomas 4 3 

Wilkinson, Thos. Jr 4 3 

Wilkinson, Arthur 3 4 

*^ FLOS. 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Bishop, Stephen -^^k. ^ ^ 

Campbell, William .^* 1 61 

Craig, Thomas 1 43 

Davenport, Wm 1 51 

Gager, Obadiah 1 48 

Hamilton, John 1 60 

Hickling, George, Jr 1 52 

Hunt, James 1 72 

Johnston, James 1 48 

Kettle, Thomas 1 74 

Marlow, Hugh 1 55 (N) 

Marlow, Hugh 1 59 (Nf) 

Moore, Alfred 5 1 

Moran, Dominic 2 4 (Si) 

Murphy, Patrick 1 59 

McCormick, George 2 46 

McDivitt, Daniel 1 52 

McDivitt, Daniel 2 52 

McDougall, David 1 44 

McGenerty, Dennis 1 61 (N|) 

Peploe, Samuel 1 75 (N|) 

Prey, William 1 53 

Richardson, Gideon 6 1 

Richardson, John 1 41 

Rowat, John 1 53 

Rowley, John 1 70 

Swan, James 2 47 

William, George 1 3 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Algeo, Lewis 7 13 

Armson, William 7 5 

Armstrong-, Christopher... 6 9 

Armstrong-, John 6 12 

Armstrong, Robert 6 13 

Armstrong, Thomas 6 11 

Armstrong, William 5 12 

Armstrong, Thomas 7 

Atkins, Robert 8 

Atkins, Robert 9 

Banks, E 9 ^^ (Negro) 

Bannerman, George 4 

Bannerman, Donald 3 7 

Bannerman, Alex 5 9 

Bannerman, Hugh 6 10 

Barrett, William 9 10 

Bawdy, John 10 12 (Boddy) 

Belfry, Ira 8 14 (S|) 

Belfry, James 8 16 (S) 

Belfry, Philo 8 14 (N) 

Belfry, Prince 8 16 (N) 

Bell, James 13 17 

Blair, Wm 13 13 

Bowles, George 9 11 

Bostwick, John 3 3 

Bostwick, Edward 4 4 

Brandon, John 1 2 

Brandon, Thomas 2 3 (W|) 

Brandon, Matthew 2 5 (S pt) 

Brandon, John 2 2 

Brandon, Robert 2 4 

Brazier, John 5 3 

Brazil, Michael 7 1 

Brady, R*obert 10 18 

Brown, Philip 7 6 

Brown, James 11 15 

Burns, Christopher 9 15 (Si) 

Caffrey, William 9 17 




Settler, Con. Lot. 

Campbell, Arthur 6 10 

Campbell, Robert 7 4 (N) 

Carruthers, Wm 7 4 (S|) 

Carney, Patrick 7 6 (N|) (Kearney) 

Castor, Henry 6 1 

Castor, William 6 1 

Cayton, John 13 15 (N) 

Christy, John 6 4 

Clark, Ira 8 3 (E|) 

Clement, Georg-e . .Jjk. .. 14 15 

Coburn, John, SrJB. .. 10 1 (N|) 

Coburn, John, Jr. J* . ... 9 2 (S|) 

Coley, George 4 1 

Collins, William 5 4 

Collins, Richard 7 8 

Condell, John 13 10 (Cundle) 

Conway, James 10 6 

Corbett, Christopher 3 1 

Corbett, Joseph 3 4 

Cosgrave, William 14 13 

Cosgrave, Archibald 14 16 

Coulson, Robert 10 13 

Coulson, John 11 15 (Si) 

Creig-hton, Samuel 2 4 

Cronan, John 12 20 

Cronan, James 12 15 

Cronan, Thomas 12 19 

Cronan, Edward 12 15 

Cunning-ham, Wm 6 2 (N-) 

Cunning-ham, Andrew. ... 5 1 (Ni) 

Curry, John 9 14 

Daley, John 8 7 

Davis, John 3 1 

Davis, James 11 8 

Derry, Alexander 9 4 

Devit, John, Sr 1 1 

Devit, John, Jr 1 1 

Dimond, James 9 5 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Dissett, John . 7 16 

Dissett, Philip 12 9 

Doan, Jonathan 7 3 

Doan, James 7 1 

Doan, John 10 12 

Doan, Ebenezer 3 2 

Dodds, James 4 3 

Downey, Robert. . 9 4 

Elliott, Francis 12 9 

Eng-lish, Gilbert 12 1 2 (S|) 

Evans, James 10 14 

Evans, George 10 14 

Evans, John 9 13 

Feagan, Wm 13 16 Fiegehen 

Fennell, Joseph 10 17 

Fennell, John 10 1 

Ferguson, James 6 6 

Ferris, John 6 8 (Si) 

Ferris, John 7 7 

Fisher, John 8 6 (N) 

Flanagan, Patrick 3 10 

Foster, John 12 17 

Fowler, William 3 3 

Fowlis, Charles 9 4 (Follis) 

Fraser, John 3 8 

Fraser, William 5 9 

Fraser, William, Rev 6 1 

Frye, Henry 2 5 

Garbutt, John 13 13 (S|) 

Garbutt, William ]2 13 (Nl) 

Galloway, James H 6 

Gibbons, Patrick 9 1 

Goodfellow, John 7 14 (Si) 

Goodfellow, Adam 6 8 

Gould, John 10 12 

Grant, Hector 3 7 

Greer, Matthew 8 13 (N|) 

Greer, William. . .11 16 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Greer, Patrick ........... 9 13 

Greenfield, James ........ 10 19 

Gunn, Alex ............. 5 9 

Gunn, Alex ............. 4 3 

Hardgrave, William ...... 7 16 

Hail, Lowell ............ 7 12 

Herrican, Andrew ........ 9 6 

Henderson, Thomas ...... 11 15 

Hill, James .............. 11 1 

Hodgson, Joseph ........ 6 9 

Huff, John .............. 7 12 

Hughes, Samuel ......... 2 1 

Hunter, James .......... 11 8 

Hutchinson, James ....... 9 9 

Jackson, Nathan ......... 13 11 

Jebb, Thomas ........... 11 10 

Jeffs, Edward ........... 6 3 

Johnson, Joseph ......... 10 4 

Johnston, Isaac .......... 3 4 

Johnston, Robert ...... 13 7 (Si) 

Jones, Humphrey ........ 6 1 

Kerr, Alexander ......... 10 7 (Si) 

Kerr, John .............. 10 9 (s|) 

Keenan, Dominick ....... 9 8 

Kelly, John ............. 9 5 

Kidd, James ............ 14 1 

Kitley, Joseph ........... 3 2 

Kitley, John ............. 4 3 

Kneeshaw, William ...... 14 14 

Landerkin, James ........ ,6 2 

Latimore, John .......... 9 1 

Lawrence, Alex .......... 10 5 

Lawrence, James ........ 10 5 

Lee, Patrick ............. 11 15 

Lee, Henry ............. 11 2 (S) 

Lee, John ............... 11 3 (S|) 

Lee, Thomas ............ 11 4 

Lewis, John ............. 7 2 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Lewis, George 7 2 

Lloyd, Charles 3 5 

Lloyd, Charles 2 2 

Long-, James 8 1 

Long, John 8 4 

Long, Richard 9 5 

Long, Samuel 9 2 

Macauley, John 7 8 

McDowell, Wildredge 11 13 (S$) 

Mackee, William 2 15 (McKee) 

Magee, John 8 4 

McGee, Richard 8 8 (SJ) 

McGee, James 8 8 (N|) 

McGee, Edward 9 8 

Matchett, Thomas 10 4 (N) 

Matchett, Edward 10 2 (Nf) 

Matthews, Wm 12 11 (N|) 

Mattice, Thomas 12 10 

Matheson, John 6 7 

Matheson, John 5 10 (N) 

Megan, Lawrence 8 12 

Megan, John 9 12 

Megan, James. 8 11 

Merrick, Mary 2 2 

Mills, James 3 4 

Mills, James 6 

Miller, Thomas 9 14 

Molloy, Charles 7 6 

Molloy, Garrett 9 13 

Molloy, William 13 13 (N|) 

Molloy, Timothy 10 13 

Molloy, John 12 19 

Moore, Joseph 4 2 

Morarity, Owen 7 16 

Morarity, Michael 10 13 (S|) 

McArthur, Angus 2 4 

McBeth, Charles 4 9 (N|) 

McBeth, Andrew 5 7 




Settler. Con. Lot. 

McAfee, John ........... 12 8 

McCarroll, Hugh ........ 13 10 

McArthur, William ...... 11 7 

McArthur, Oliver ........ 11 8 

McArthur, Robert ........ 12 6 

McCausland, Alex ....... 9 13 (Ei) 

McClennon, John ....... 5 11 

McDonald, Donald ....... 5 11 

McKay, William ......... 4 5 

McKay, Alex ............ 4 11 (N) 

McKay, Donald .......... 4 10 (E|) 

McKay, Roderick ........ 4 10 (Wi) 

McKay, Alex ............ 4 1 

McKay, George .......... 4 5 

McKay, James .......... 6 7 

McKenney, Neil ......... 11 10 

McKillican, Wm ......... 6 5 

McLean, Widow ......... 11 16 (S) 

McLellan, William ....... 11 19 (N|) 

McLellan, Alex .......... 4 7 (Si) 

McLeod, Hector. ........ 6 6 

McMahon, Thomas ...... 5 7 

Nay, Matthew ........... 7 7 (N) 

Nay, Robert ............ 8 11 

Neilly, Wm ............. 12 17 

Neilly, Samuel ........... 13 8 

Nelson, John ....... % ..... 6 1 

Nesbitt, John ............ 14 17 

Newry, Wm ............ 9 5 (Nowrey) 

O'Connell, Darby ........ 13 9 (N) 

O'Donnell, John ......... 13 18 (S|) 

O'Donnell, Richard ...... 14 19 (N-*-) 

Parker, Thomas ......... 8 10 (S) 

Parker, Robert .......... 8 10 (N) 

Patfield, James .......... 14 16 (Padfield) 

Penrose, Yarnel ........ 2 2 

Phillips, Wm ............ 6 1 

Pilking-ton, James ........ 10 6 (N|) 

19a () 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Porter, Oliver 6 10 (N) 

Procter, Samuel 8 2 

Proctor, Thomas 8 3 (W|) 

Quay, John 11 19 (El) 

Quig-ley, Charles 11 13 

Quigley, Wm 11 13 (N|) 

Rainey, Wm 6 U(N|) 

Ramsay, Wm 1 10 

Read, John 2 2 

Robins, Henry 6 6 (S|) 

Robinson, Gilbert 8 15 

Robinson, Peter 5 13 

Robinson, Joel F 7 1 

Robinson, Wm 8 15 

Robinson, John 9 16 

Roberts, Wm 11 17 (N|) 

Roberts, John 11 18 (N$) 

Roe, William 2 3 

Rogers, Elias 2 1 

Rogers, Dennis 3 3 

Rogers, Levi 3 3 

Rogers, James 7 8 

Rogers, Isaac 8 12 

Rogers, Isaiah 10 3 (S|) 

Rogers, E 10 15 

Roony, Thomas 7 17 

Rose, John 4 4 

Ross, George 4 7 (N|) 

Ross, Sandy 7 7 

Rutledge, John 9 10 (S|) 

Sawyer, Robert 14 17 

Scanlan, Patrick 9 6 (NJ) 

Scanlan, Mark 9 16 

Scanlan, Cornelius 9 7 (S^) 

Scobie, Hugh 7 13 

Sloan, John 8 17 

Sloan, William 9 18 (S|) 

Smith, Phelps 6 5 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Smith, Ralph 9 3 

Sparling-, George 7 5 

Steele, James 11 11 

Steele, Hugh 11 11 

Steele, Thomas 12 7 

Stevens, Wm 7 11 

Stigmey, Levi 4 6 

Stinson, Wm 3 5 

Stinson, George 3 5 

Stinson, George 10 9 

Stone, Solomon 5 4 

Stoddart, Wm 7 10 

Stoddart, Wm 8 7 

Stoddart, John . . 8 9 

Stoddart, James 7 10 

Stoddart, Hugh 8 9 (N) 

Sutherland, Robert 5 8 (S|) 

Sutherland, William 5 5 (sf) 

Sutherland, Donald 5 5 (NJ) 

Sutherland, Angus 5 10 (S|) 

Sutherland, Haman 5 12 (S|) 

Sutherland, John 6 1 

Sutherland, John 8 1 

Sutherland, Thomas 8 6 (S|) 

Sutherland, Wm 4 8 

Tasker, Mark 10 16 

Thornbury, Wm 5 10 

Thorpe, George 10 16 

Thorpe, William 10 17 

Thorpe, John 12 14 

Tindall, James 12 16 (NJ) 

Towse, Richard 13 15 

Trotter, James 10 3 

Vanstock, Garrett 6 11 

Varnam, James 9 7 

Walker, Wm 11 2 

Wallace, John 2 1 

Wallace, James 6 14 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Wardman, Wm 7 14 

Wardman, John 9 3 

Waters, James 10 4 

Wells, James 7 14 (N) 

West, Thomas 5 2 

West, George 6 6 

West, Benjamin 6 4 

White, William 9 10 

Whiteside, William 9 4 

Willard, Asa 10 11 

Williams, Moses 2 4 

Willoughby, Ralph 7 4 

Willoughby, John 9 1 

Wilson, Benjamin 5 1 

Wilson, Hugh 6 4 

Wilson, John 13 11 

Wood, James 11 16 

Wood, William 13 15 


Aljoe, Robert 6 17 

Allan, Gavin 3 16 

Armstrong, Thomas 6 3 

Arthur, John 8 13 (N|) 

Batters, Thomas 4 2 

Boys, Richard 5 14 

Booth, Wm 10 H (SJ) 

Breend, George 10 17 

Calder, Thomas 12 12 

Clement, Albert 4 12 (SJ) 

Clement, Lewis J 1 16 (N) 

Climie, John 2 21 

Climie, William 2 21 

Climie, John Jr 2 17 

Coleman, John 2 2 

Coleman, William 2 2 

Coleman, Richard 2 2 


INNISFIL. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Cosgrove, George. 8 22 

Cripps, John 4 20 

Cross, Wm 6 20 

Cummins, James 2 1 

Deacon, William 8 2 

Denure, James 5 19 

Doag-, Thomas 7 19 (N) 

Duncan, Thomas 6 19 (S|) 

Duncan, Wm 6 18 (N-|) 

Easton, Thomas 9 3 (Pt) 

Ferrier, Andrew 3 1 

Fields, William 6 21 

Fife, Joseph 7 2 

Fisher, William 6 11 (N) 

Fitten, Robert 12 26 

Fleming, James 7 2 

Gartley, Peter 6 21 

Gibbons, David 11 11 

Gibson, Wm 11 5 

Gimby, John 4 15 

Gowerly, Wm 10 17 

Green, Jacob 9 3 

Groesbeck, Cornelius 6 18 

Grose, Henry 4 22 

Hamilton 7 6 

Hammond, John 13 24 

Hewson, Francis 14 30 

Hayter, Moses 13 25 

Hindle, James 3 6 (N) 

Hunt, Joseph 12 25 

Hunt, George 8 2 (SJ) 

Jack, William 5 22 

Jack, John 6 22 

Jack, James 3 21 

Jefferson, Robert 10 18 

Johnson, J 6 9 

Johnson, John 8 1 

Kelder, Thomas 12 12 (See also Calder) 


I N N I S F I L . Continued . 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Kettle, Robert 1 16 

Kilgore, Samuel 5 1 

Laird, Robert 2 15 

Lawrie. John 2 17 

La wrie, Wm 2 17 

Lawrence, Wm 9 15 (N^-) 

Lennox, Wm 3 10 (Pt 9) 

Lennox, John 3 8 

Lesslie, Wm (near Nantyr) 

Main, William 2 16 

Maneer, Samuel 8 15 

Myers, David 10 15 

McConkey, James 4 15 

McConkey, William 5 15 

McConkey, John 3 16 

McConkey, Robert 7 21 

McConkey, Thomas 8 16 

McConkey, John 8 22 

McCormack, James 6 8 

McCullough, Wm 6 17 

McGinnis, James 4 17 

McGruther, George 4 17 

McKay, Robert 2 16 

McKinlass, Samuel 2 6 (Pt) 

McLean, Robert 3 17 (Si-) 

McLean, James 7 19 

McLean, Alex 5 20 

Orchard, Joseph 11 U(S|) 

Orser, Gilbert, Jr 8 26 (N) 

Patterson, John 5 14 

Patterson, Benjamin. 8 18 

Patterson, Samuel 7 20 

Perry, George 1 1 

Perry, John, Jr 2 1 (S) 

Perry, John, Sr 1 1 

Perry, Thomas 2 1 

Picken, Robert 1 3 

Pratt, John, Jr 7 15 


INNISFIL. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Pratt, John 11 16 

Ray, Thomas 5 3 

Reid, James 4 19 (NJ) 

Rennie, James 2 4 (N|) 

Richey, John 4 6 

Reive, Thomas 5 14 

Robins, James 9 15 

Robinson, Robert 12 26 

Rogerson, James 2 19 

Rogers, Patrick 11 16 

Ross, Alexander 5 11 

Ross, Benjamin 8 15 

Scott, Mitchell 5 11 

Shaw, John 8 19 

Shaw, Robert 8 20 

Shaw, Joseph 8 20 

Shilson, James (Tollendal) 

Sibbald, John S 14 13(Npt) 

Simmons, James 2 1 

Smith, Thomas 11 18 

Somerset, John 9 5 

Soules, James 13 26 

Soules, David 13 26 

Sutherland, John 1 4 

Thompson, John, Jr 9 16 

Thompson, John, Sr 9 16 

Todd, Davidson 2 20 

Todd, Ebenezer 2 19 

Todd, Charles 3 21 

Todd, Hugh 5 12 

Walker, John 7 1 

Wallace, Robert 5 22 (S|) 

Warnica, George F 12 15 

Warnica, John 12 14 

Warnica, George F. H ... 12 13 

Warnica, Joseph 7 15 (N|) 

Warnica, William 12 12 

Wilson, James 10 18 


I N N I S FI L. Concluded. 

Settler. Con . Lot. 

Wilson, Charles 2 15 

Wice, Henry 10 13 (N|) 

Wice, Samuel 12 13 

Wood, Nathaniel 12 16 

Wood, Jonas 12 16 

Wray, Thos 5 3 

Wright, Samuel 6 3 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Alibone, George 8 9 (E|) 

Anderson, Thomas G 12 24 

Archer, William 1 69 (W|) 

Bailey, John 12 6 

Bailey, Robert 6 1 

Beard, James 11 2 

Barr, Walter 11 6 (E|) 

Barr, George 6 11 (E|) 

Bell, John 7 8 

Bell, James 7 8 

Borland, John 11 22 

Boyd, William 10 16 (E|) 

Boynton, John 3 9 (W|-) 

Bradley, William 1 56 

Broomlaw, John 1 70 

Brotherstone, Jane 9 6 (W|) 

Brimsmead, Richard 11 5 (E|) 

Bunton, Conway 5 5 (E|) 

Byrnes, John 2 57 

Burnfield, James 6 14 

Butcher, Joseph 12 8 

Callaghan, Patrick 4 6 (W|) 

Callaghan, John 5 7 

Carthew, John 10 17 

Cavanagh, Thomas 10 6 

Champagny, Peter 10 15 

Connor, Michael 4 9 

Connor, John 4 8 


MEDONTE. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Cook, James 10 2 (SE|) 

Cook, John 11 2 

Craddock, Joseph 12 23 (SWl) 

Craig, Thomas, Sr 1 43 

Craig, Thomas, Jr 1 44 

Craig, John 1 43 

Cowan, Samuel 6 6 (E-J-) 

Davenport, Benjamin 1 70 

Doller, Joseph 10 19 

Douglass, William 8 7 

Duddy, Thomas 7 7 

Dunaghan, Miles 1 75 

Eplett, John 9 12 

Evans, Joseph 6 8 (E^) 

Fitzgerald, Charles 6 4 

Flanaghan, Michael 3 8 (El) 

Fowler, John 8 8 (E|) 

Fox, James 11 8 (fif) 

Fox, James 10 20 

French, Samuel 4 7 (E^) 

Frawley, Cornelius 3 10 (E|) 

Fullerton, John 9 7 (E|) 

Ganton, David 3 8 (W) 

Goss, Joseph 11 7 (W) 

Grant, John 5 1 

Greenlaw, Robert 2 49 

Greenlaw, James , 2 50 

Grouette, Wm 13 22 

Hallen, George 13 11 

Harvey, John , 5 13 (E$) 

Hinds, John 3 1 (W) 

Holt, Zechariah 4 1 

Horsburgh, Alexander 9 8 (SE|) 

Hughes, Patrick 1 60 (W|) 

Hussey, John 3 6 

Ingram, Robert 1 49 

Ingram, James 1 50 

Ingram, George 3 5 


MEDONTE. Continued. 

Settler. Con. lot. 

Inwood, John 8 8 

Jacques, Franklin 1 41 

Jamieson, John 13 1 

Jamieson, Ann 5 10 

Johnson, David 2 54 

Kearns, William 10 6 

Kelly, Thomas 9 10 (EJ) 

Kent, William 10 12 

King-horn, Andrew 5 6 (W) 

Laing, Alexander 1 42 (NJ) 

Lawler, Cornelius 12 1 (Wf) 

Leonard, James 1 69 

Little, Robert 6 1 

Livingston, Dougald 11 6 (W^ 7 ) 

Miller, Robert 6 12 

Miller, Alexander 6 13 

Milliken, Thomas 1 54 (S) 

Moon, Henry 10 16 

Moon, Edmund 9 15 

Moon, Georg-e 3 56 

Moran, John 2 41 

Mordan, Robert 5 12 

Morehead, Graham 1 53 (N-|) 

McArthur, Patrick 3 1 

McCabe, Michael 9 20 

McCarroll, Robert 9 1 

McClure, Samuel 7 3 

McCondra, Thomas 5 5 

McDonald, John 6 8 

McHugh, Daniel 13 1 

McHugh, Peter 13 1 

McKay, George 1 72 

McKinley, John 11 3 

McKinley, Duncan 11 

McKinley, Donald 8 2 

McLean, Dougall 10 10 

McLeod, Malcolm 2 52 

McMurray, Michael 4 9 


MEDONTE. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

McNamara, Lawrence.... 3 10 

Nicholl, Robert 1 65 

Nicholl, S 9 22 

O'Donnell, Patrick 6 2 

Orton, John 9 7 

Parker, Thomas 4 7 

Pilgrim, Henry 9 14 

Power, William 4 6 (E|) 

Quail, Thomas 9 5 (E|) 

Reardon, Jermiah 7 5 (E-J-) 

Reid, Archibald. 

Riley, Thomas 9 19 

Robins, Jethro 7 7 (E|) 

Ross, Richard Colmer. ... 7 15 

Ross, William 5 8 

Rutherford, Allan 11 9 

Rutherford, Justus 6 9 

Seal, John 6 6 (W) 

Shanahan, John 3 9(NE) 

Shanahan, Thomas 3 7 

Shire, Charles 10 1 

Sleigh, Edwin 8 15 

Smyth, Traverse 1 53 

Steele, Elmes 12 9 

Stevens, John 9 8 

Stokely, James 1 71 

Switzer, William 10 1 (NE|) 

Terry, Jane 7 3 

Thomas, John 8 16 

Thompson, William 7 10 

Thompson, Dougald 11 

Thornton, Peter 11 1 (E|) 

Thornton, Thomas 11 1 (W^) 

Teaming, John 9 10 (W J) 

Turner, George 1 59 

Walker, George 7 1 (Ei) 

Watt, William 4 11 

Whelan, John 12 7 


MEDONTE. Concluded. 

Settler. Con . Lot. 

Williams, Joseph 7 5 (Wi) 

Wilson, Lieut. George. ... 10 14 

Yates, John 2 53 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Adair, John 10 32 

Bell, Angus 8 23 

Bell, Archibald 8 25 

Bell, John 10 26 (S|) 

Bell, Malcolm, Sr 8 25 

Bowerman, Joseph 9 4 (Nv) 

Bertie, John 3 15 

Bertie, Joseph 4 15 

Bulmer, John 7 6 

Campbell, Alex 10 33 (N|) 

Campbell, Angus 4 23 

Campbell, Duncan 2 17 (Pt) 

Currie, Archibald 8 21 (S) 

Currie, Donald 11 35 (S) 

Currie, Hugh 8 28 

Currie, John 12 35 

Currie, Malcolm 8 25 

Currie, Peter 8 25 

Dallas, William 9 20 (N) 

Dixon, John 8 1 

Dooling, Patrick 7 16 

Duggan, Edmund, Sr. . . . 4 16 

Fenelon, Thomas 2 17 (N|) 

Gillespie, Donald 11 30 

Jardine, Andrew, Sr 10 30 (N|) 

Jardine, David 10 30 (Si) 

Klippert, George 9 26 (N) 

Kneff, George 9 25 (Pt) 

Lawler, Andrew 10 5 

Lawler, James 9 19 

Leach, William 8 20 


NOTTAWASAGA. Conchided. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Lott, John 4 3 

Martin, Anthony 11 23 (E) 

Martin, Robert 2 4 

Martin, William 8 25 

Matchett, James 4 4 (Pt) 

Mattz, 8 25 

Moore, Peter 3 31 

Moore, William 7 31 

McCallum, Archibald 4 23 (N) 

McCallum, John 10 28 (Pt) 

McCallum, Malcolm 8 25 

McCutcheon, William 12 28 

McDermid, Archibald 11 33 

McDermid, John 8 27 

McDermid, Malcolm 10 33 

McDuffie, Doug-aid 11 29 

McEwan, Archibald 10 31 

McEwan, Neil 9 26 

McFadyen, John 1 19 

McGillivray, Arch 9 29 

McGregor, John 9 20 (S) 

McLean, Duncan 4 30 

McNabb, Duncan 7 19 

McQueen, Donald 5 23 

McQueen, John 11 35 (N|) 

McQueen, Neil 12 33 

Neelands, Hamilton 4 4 (Pt) 

Patterson, John 11 ' 29 (S) 

Patterson, William 2 12 (S|) 

Paul, Neil 4 21 (S|) 

Ross, William 8 23 

Smith, Randall 12 37 

Smith, William 9 6 (N) 

Smyth, John 11 1 

Swalm, Conrad 8 29 (S|) 

Thompson, Samuel 8 26 

Willing-, Nathaniel 9 24 



Settler. Con. Lot. 

Booth, Robert 3 6 (N) 

Drinkwater, John 3 1 (W|) 

Fraser, Henry 1 1 

George, Robert 4 2 

Golding, Thomas 2 5 (W) 

Hume, W. C 1 2 

Joice, Patrick 2 5 (E) 

Magovern, John 2 2 

O'Connor, John 1 2 (Pt) 

Patton, Mara 4 1 

Pettis, John 1 2 

Rees, John 3 6 (S|) 

Rickard, John 2 7 (E) 

Robinson, Charles 9 5 

Rout, James 4 4 (E) 

Taylor, Robert 1 2 

Thompson, John 6 1 

Wood, William 7 1 

Wright, John 3 1 (E|) 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Dallas, Frederick 3 11 

Darling, Paul 2 6 

Finch, John.. 1 11 

Harvey, John ^ . . 1 9 

Johnson, 1 10 

Kirsop, William o 4 (Ept) 

Muloch, William 2 5 

Rowe, Chas 1 5 

Sanson, James 2 9 

Sibbald, William 5 11 

Squires, Philemon 5 8 

St. John, St. Andrew 5 6 



Settler, Con. Lot. 

Adams, John 8 27 

Adams, James 9 26 (Ept) 

Algeo, William B 11 23 

Ailing-ham, J. D 11 24 

Ambler, Thomas 1 6 

Anderson, George 11 18 

Ashfield, John 6 9 

Barber, Luther 3 6 (E|) 

Baskerville, William 13 14 (E|) 

Bass, Malen 3 12 (El) 

Bailey, Thomas 6 18 

Bell, Gilbert 8 7 

Bergen, Michael 1 J9 

Blair, William 8 6 

Black, Hector 9 12 

Bone, David 13 10 (E|) 

Brown, Samuel 1 20 

Brown, George 12 11 (E|) 

Brough, Charles, Rev 14 13 

Buchanan, Francis 13 7 (W|) 

Bush, James 5 12 (W|) 

Batters, Charles G 7 17 

Caldwell, George 2 12 

Call, John 2 21 

Cameron, Duncan 12 6 

Cameron, Daniel 13 12 (W|) 

Cameron, Malcolm 13 6 (W|) 

Campbell, Arch 5 17 

Campbell, John 7 17 (W) 

Carthew, Arthur 13 22 (Spt) 

Chapel, John 2 11 

Chedwick, Richard 3 7 

Clark, John 10 2 

Clark, Alex 10 1 

Clark, Joseph 14 8 

Clifford, Henry 2 30 

Caughly, Daniel 2 14 

Coleman, James 14 7 


O RO. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Cotton, Noah 10 14 (El) 

Crawford, Henry 10 H(W&) 

Crea, William 3 14 

Crooks, Richard 9 23 

Crooks, Richard 12 20 

Cross, William 1 33 

Currie, Edward 9 5 

Currie, John 10 6 

Cuppage, William 13 2 

Davis, Edward F 12 22 

Darkman, George 2 15 

Delay, John 2 E 

Drury, Thomas 1 11 

Drury, Richard 1 12 

Dunsmore, William 6 16 (E|) 

Eddy, George 2 24 

Edwards, Joseph 2 31 

Elsmere, Joseph 4 1 (W|) 

Emms, James 1 31 

Fell, Isaac , 14 11 

Felters, Mary . 14 10 

Ferguson, George 6 14 

Ferguson, Thomas 14 8 

Firth, George . . 7 15 

Fitzgibbon, Thos 13 1 

Flaherty, John 2 10 

Forster, Richard 2 24 

Frazer, William 14 14 

Frazer, John 4 20 

Galbraith, John 9 10 (S|) 

Galbraith, Angus 10 8 

Galbraith, Donald 10 13 

Gardiner, William 2 23 

Gardiner, John 2 25 

Gilchrist, Duncan 8 6 

Gillespie, Arch 9 11 

Gosling, John 2 24 

Gough, John 1 E 

20 (n) 


ORO. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Graham, William . 3 11 ( Wpt) 

Grant, Donald 7 12 (E|) 

Gray, William 3 14 

Gruette, Peter 12 20 

Hall, H 10 16 (El) 

Hammond, John 12 1 

Hart, Isaac 1 32 

Hartwell, William 2 11 

Hardy, John 13 6 

Harkley, John 4 1 (Pt) 

Harrison, Wm 10 12 (WJ) 

Hatch, William 7 14 (Wi) 

Hawkins, Charles 3 5 (E^) 

Hepburn, Caesar 4 12 (W|) 

Hickling, George 1 15 

Hickling, Wm 2 20 

Hickling, Ebenezer 2 19 

Holdsworth, Thomas 10 16 (W) 

Hodges, Richard 12 24 

Horn, Peter 12 15 

Hughes, George 1 6 

Hullichan, Patrick 13 15 

Hunt, Wm 1 40 

Jackson, Samuel 5 12 

Jackson, John 2 3 

Jarrett, Charles 11 1 

Jennings, Henry 6 11 (E^) 

Jermey, Samuel 10 12 

Jervis, John 2 F 

Johnson, Matthew 14 7 (N-J-) 

Johnson, John T 3 12 

Johnson, Benjamin 2 27 

Jones, John 5 13 

Keating, Horace 12 23 

Kerridge, Charles 1 23 

Kyle, Wm 12 1 

Lally, Edmund 5 28 

Lander, Walter 5 9 

20a (n) 


O R O . Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Langman, Nicholas 14 6 (W|) 

Langrnan, Joseph 14 6 (E-J-) 

Lawrence, John 1 7 

Litster, Henry 12 9 (E|) 

Leigh, John 13 16 

Leitch, Angus 8 2 (NE{) 

Leonard, Wm 2 28 

Livingston, Neil 9 7 

Loftus, James 3 6 (W) 

Locke, Joseph 13 13 (E|) 

Luck, Edward 1 16 

Marshall, John 14 12 (WJ) 

Millan, Daniel 6 14 (w|) 

Mitchell, William 12 12 (S|) 

Moffatt, James 14 9 (E|) 

Monk, Charles 6 27 

Monro, Jeremiah 5 10 

Morris, John N 4 11 (E) 

Morris, Noah 4 11 (W-*-) 

Morrison, Thomas 14 10 

Montgomery, Henry 2 29 

McCallum, Peter 10 6 (NE|) 

McArthur, Duncan 8 7 

McArthur, Duncan 9 5 

McCuaig, Duncan 5 16 

McCulloch, Robert 6 16 (W|-) 

McDonald, Michael 10 15 

McDuffie, Peter 9 1 

McDuffie, John 10 2 (W|) 

McDougall, Arch 6 14 

McEachern, Duncan 8 12 

McEachern, John 8 11 

McFaydon, John 9 10 

McKay, Angus 9 12 

McKenzie, John 8 16 

McKerroll, James 10 1 (W) 

McLean, George 1 39 (Ni) 

McLean, John 10 4 


ORO. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

McLeod, Donald 12 12 

McLeod, John 13 8 

McMillan, Duncan 9 10 

McMillan, John 11 8 

McNab, Alex 10 1 

McNiven, John 8 3 

McPherson, John 13 7 

McVity, Wm. B 11 25 

McVittoe, Charles 10 25 

Naish, James 13 13 

Norman, George 12 16 

O'Brien, Edward G 2 2 

Oades, Francis 1 27 

( "Oliver, Robert 1 1 (Ept) 

Oliver, George 1 18 

Ormsby, James 12 14 

Overs, George 2 40 

Pailk, William 9 13 

Parker, Simon 6 6 

Partridge, Charles 1 17 

Paxman, John 11 8 

Pearce, Joseph 7 15 

Perkins, Wm 8 16 

Prentis, James 8 1 (NW) 

Pulford, George 8 14 

Putney, Robert 6 8 

Rawl, John 13 17 

Reid, Duncan 9 2 

Reid, John 3 15 

Reid, Hugh 9 2 

Reid, Wm 14 10 

Richardson, Samuel 1 5 

Richardson, Wm 1 36 

Richardson, Jesse 5 10 

Robertson, George 13 10 (W|) 

Ross, Malcolm 8 17 

Rutherford, Wm 12 8 (EJ) 

Ryall, Edward 12 19 (WJ) 


ORO. Concluded. 
Settler. Con. Lot. 

Scott, John ............. 11 10 

St. Denny, Henry ....... 2 26 

Shaw, Henry ............ 10 12 (S|) 

Simpson, Wm ........... 11 15 

Sinclair, John ........... 3 16 (E|) 

Smith, Matthew ......... 4 7 (E-|) 

Smith, John ............ 6 11 

Smith, Duncan ........ 9 6 

Smith, John ............. 9 13 (W) 

Smith, Peter ...... ...... 11 20 

Summer, Edward ....... 2 D 

Swan, Robert ........... 11 15 (WJ) 

Tabor, James ........... 13 14 (wf) 

Thomas, Samuel ......... 4 8 

Thomas, Samuel ......... 5 13 

Thompson, John ......... 11 6 (W) 

Tudhope, Walter ........ 8 I (NE) 

Tudhope, William ....... 11 7 (NE|) 

Tudhope, George ........ 11 6 (E^) 

Turner, Benjamin ....... 4 12 (E^) 

Turner, Edward . ........ 8 2 (Pt) 

Usher, Frederick ........ 1 8 

Walker, Edward ......... 3 8 (W) 

Walker, John ........... 4 9 

Walker, Joseph .......... 7 3 (E|) 

Watson, James .......... 1 28 

White, James ........... 1 26 

Whitley, John .......... 3 28 

Whiting, George ........ 10 11 

Wilson, John ............ 10 15 

Young, John M .......... 14 12 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Bell, John ............. 5 19 

Birchall, Samuel ........ 13 9 

Qameron, John .......... 1 27 

Cane, Hugh ............ 12 8 


SUNNIDALE. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Cathey, Geo 14 4 (SE pt) 

Coates, Matthew 3 21 

Crow, Joseph 13 6 

Currie, John 12 3 

Currie, Donald 12 3 

Finlay, William 2 26 

Fisher, S 7 12 

Gardiner, James 12 8 

Goode, Cephas 13 4 

Gilchrist, Alex 10 5 

Gillespie, Alex 10 12 

Haggart, Timothy 11 9 

Harvey, Patrick 13 8 

McCallum, Peter 9 15 

McCallum, John 10 H 

Macaulay, Gilbert 10 13 

McKenzie, John 10 4 

McNeill, Alex 1 27 

Moore, John 11 3 (E) 

Patterson, Malcolm 9 17 

O'Connell, John 2 26 

O'Connor, Patrick 7 12 

Richey, James 13 4 

Shuall, William 1 27 

Somerville, Arch'd 5 20 

Smith, George 7 11 

Shaw, Donald 9 16 

Shaw, John 9 16 

Shaw, Duncan 9 15 (Ni) 

Sullivan, James 11 11 

Seeler, Henry 12 7 

Thompson, T. John 14 3 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Bannister, David 1 76 (S-|) 

Boyer, Charles 

Cowan, William 1 98 ( W|) 


TAY. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Dusang, Aimable 

Devine, John 1 103 

Dusome, Francis (Near the Wye) 

Fortin, Henry 

Letourneaux, Joseph 1 84 

Ludlow, George 1 101 

McDonnell, Michael 2 101 

Mundy, Asher 1 112 

Mundy, Israel 1 112 

Quigley, Charles 1 85 

Whelan, James 1 109 

Wilson, William 1 100 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Abernethy, John 3 13 

Agnew, William 1 8 

Anderson, Jos'h 5 11 

Aug-er, Frederick 5 17 (N) 

Armatage, Joseph 1 21 

Armstrong-, Wm 8 19 

Armstrong, James 7 22 (S|) 

Armstrong, Philip 9 21 

Armstrong, John 14 18 (S|) 

Atkinson, Wm 2 8 

Atkinson, Jonathan 6 10 

Ausman, Jacob 5 19 

Ausman, Philip 5 18 

Ausman, Conrad 5 19 

Ausman, John 4 18 

Austin, John 5 9 (E) , 

Austin, Alexander 5 9 (W|) 

Bainbridge, Francis 8 21 

Bateman, Joseph 4 4 

Batters, Richard 6 21 

Baycroft, George 9 19 

Beard, William 8 16 (Pt.) 


TECUMSEH. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Beaty, John 14 20 

Bell, John 7 21 

Bigelow, Hiram 9 21 

Black, Thomas 6 19 

Boynton, Elijah 1 21 

Brooks, Jonathan 6 22 (S|) 

Brooks, John 6 21 (S|) 

Brooks, Jane 6 24 

Brawley, Charles 4 6 

Brazell, Patrick 6 24 (N pt) 

Brown, John 3 14 

Brownlee, James 2 5 

Calhoun, Thos 6 2 (N|) 

Calhoun, William 7 2 

Callaghan, James 4 3 (N) 

Callaghan, Richard 9 24 (S pt) 

Carswell, Andrew 4 24 (N pt) 

Carswell, John 7 23 

Carter, Edward 8 ^3 

Carter, William 8 23 

Casey, Owen 3 4 

Chamney, Wm 8 13 

Clark, George 3 8 

Clark, George 1 23 

Clark, Robert 2 23 

Cliver, Jesse 1 21 (Oliver?) 

Clunis, George 6 13 

Coady, James 10 23 

Coffey, John 4 22 (E) 

Coffey, Gilbert 4 21 (N|) 

Collard, Elijah 4 11 

Colgen, John 5 1 (Colgan) 

Connelly, Edward 7 20 

Connelly, Neal 2 3 

Connor, John 2 18 

Coomer, Peter 9 21 

Cook, Thomas 14 23 

Corbitt, Andrew 1 7 (S.W) 


TECUMSEH. Continued. 
Settler. Con. Lot. 

Cosford, John. ..... . ____ t 22 

Cotton, Robert .......... 7 5 

Coulter, Robert .......... 4 20 

Courtney, Jas ............ 5 20 

Courtney, John .......... 4 17 (N pt) 

Cross, Robert ........... 12 24 

Curran. John ............ 3 6 

Curry, James ............ 1 5 

Dale, George ............ 2 13 (SJ) 

Dale, John .............. 3 15 

Dale, Thomas ........... 2 17 (N pt) 

Davis, Richard .......... 5 8 

Davis, Samuel ........... 1 20 

Dean, Hoseal ........... 2 22 

Delane, Lawrence ........ 10 20 

Devlin, John ............ 5 8 

Dickey, William ......... 10 24 

Dillane, John ............ 4 10 (N|) 

Dinwoody, Hugh ........ 14 16 

Dixon, John ............ 1 13 

Doan, James ............ 7 24 

Doyle, John ............ 1 18 

Doyle Peter ............. 3 24 

Doyle, Bernard .......... 1 18 

Doyle, Patrick ........... 1 17 

Doyle, James ........... 1 15 

Doyle, James ............ 3 16 

Doyle, Hugh ............ 3 19 

Douthwaite, George ...... 2 13 

Dunham, Joseph ......... 3 18 

Dunning, Adam .......... 4 1 

Dunning, Thomas ........ 4 17 

Duff, Robert, .......... 13 16 

Duff, Thomas ............ 14 16 (S|) 

Egan, Nicholas .......... 3 4 

Ellis, James ............. 5 16 (S) 

Ellison, Daniel .......... 5 17 

Ellison, James ........... 2 8 (SE|) 


TECUMSEH. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Erwin, Thomas 3 20 

Evans, David 7 16 (W) 

Evans, Cadwalder 7 12 

Evans, Selby 7 9 (N|) 

Farel, Andrew 3 3 

Ferris, John 10 21 (N) 

Ferris, William 9 24 (Npt) 

Feeheeley, Patrick 2 2 

Ferguson, Isabella 2 24 

Ferguson, William 6 13 

Ferguson, John 1 24 

Fletcher, William 14 3 

Fletcher, Thomas 14 2 

Gardiner, John. 15 21 

Graham, John 14 16 (N|) 

Gilroy, William 9 23 ( W|) 

Graham, Edward 13 23 

Graham, William 8 20 

Gray, James 2 19 

Gray, Richard 8 22 

Greenaway, Alex 4 6 

Gumberson, Erin 2 12 

Gumberson, Thomas 5 21 

Hall, William 4 12 

Hammill, Patrick 6 3 

Hammill, Wm. Sr 8 7 (Npt) 

Hammill, Wm . Jr 4 4 

Hammill, James 8 6 

Hammill, Henry 8 21 

Hamilton, James 9 19 

Hamner, William 1 6 (NE|) 

Hampton, William 4 15 

Hawke, John 2 19 

Hawke, Benjamin 1 20 

Hawke, Gabriel 1 23 

Hayes, George 4 7 

Hayes, Thomas 4 7 

Headen, Thomas 10 21 


TECUMSEH. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Heasty, James 11 18 (S|) 

Hill, James 11 24 (SEpt) 

Hill, William 5 20 

Hill, Arthur 11 23 

Hill, John 6 18 

Hig-days, William 4 19 

Hodg-es, Jonathan 3 16 

Hodg-kinson, Wm 14 12 (SI) 

Hog-Ian, E 6 6 

Holling-shead, Wm 4 13 (S) 

Hughes, E 2 17 

Hughes, Levi 2 17 (S) 

Hughes, Thoma- 3 2 (N|) 

Hughes, Patrick 2 17 

Hurst, Thomas 8 16 (S|) 

Jeanings, Benjamin 2 20 

Jones, William 7 18 

Jordan, John 2 10 

Jordan, L 2 10 

Keating, Richard 11 19 (S|) 

Keena, Thomas 1 3 

Keough, Owen 7 1 

Keough, Peter 7 2 (Si) 

Kirkpatrick, And 9 19 (E|) 

King, Moses 2 8 

Kitely, John. 3 24 (Npt) 

Langrill, Wm 7 6 

Law, William 11 24 (SWpt) 

Leopard, Henry 1 16 

Lewis, Geo. R 7 20 

Long, William 14 23 (N) 

Low, Richard 2 6 

Lowry, Robert 13 24 

Lowry, John 1 

Lundy, Jeremiah 1 19 

Manning, William 2 24 (S|) 

Manning, James, Sr 5 24 

Manning, James, Jr 2 22 (E|) 



TECUMSEH. Continued. 

Settler. Con . Lot. 

Martin, Daniel 4 19 

Martin, Robert 4 9 

Mears, William 9 22 (SEi) 

Messerman, John 2 24 

Millig-an, James 2 9 (SJ) 

Milligan, John 5 14 (s|) 

Millig-an, Thomas 3 9 (N|) 

Millory, Peter 4 5 

Mitchell, James 2 7 (S|) 

Monag-han, Patrick 10 19 (Ni) 

Monkman, William 3 17 

Moore, John 8 19 

Moore, Hugh 8 19 

Morris, Edward 4 8 

Morrow, George 6 2 (S|) 

Morrow, Francis 6 1 

Mulloy, John 8 6 

Murray, Alexander 6 9 

McBride, James 6 1 

McBurnie, David 6 23 (N) 

McCann, Thomas 14 17 

McCarty, William 7 1 

McCarty, Hiram 8 2 

McCormack, Moses 3 12 

McDermott, Neil 6 14 

McDermott, John 6 15 

McDermott, James 8 18 

McGoey, Thomas 2 2 (N|) 

McGoey, Michael 1 7 (NW) 

McLauchlan, James 5 16 

McLauchlan, John 4 8 

McLean, John 11 24 (NEpt) 

McLennan, Hugh , - 12 11 

McMahan, Robert 2 8 

McMaghan, Patrick 4 3 (S|) 

McMeighan, Isaac 5 17 

McQuone, James 6 16 

McCurdy, Daniel 5 13 


TECUMSEH. Continued. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Nelson, John 7 8 (NJ) 

Nolan, Henry 2 23 

Pearson, Joshua 5 7 

Penfield, Adna 4 18 

Phillips, Philip 8 21 

Poole, Jacob 3 18 

Poole, William 1 8 

Ramsey, Geo. G 8 19 (S|) 

Ramsay, William 9 16 

Reilly, James 5 4 

Reilly, Henry 2 14 

Reilly, Francis 1 14 

Reilly, Edward 2 15 

Reilly, William 2 11 

Reynolds, Michael 6 10 

Rice, Charles 3 11 

Richardson, John 4 7 

Richardson, Hugh 4 22 (W-l) 

Richardson, Wm 4 20 

Roberts, Isaac 8 24 

Robertson, James 9 20 

Rogers, John 9 23 

Rogers, Abraham 3 15 

Rogers, Joseph 5 15 

Rodgers, William 2 12 

Rorke,John 8 14 (Pt) 

Rorke, Edward 7 15 (SW) 

Rorke, Richard 8 13 (Pt) 

Rose, Wm 8 22 

Ross, John 14 20 

Rush, Peter 4 16 

Ryall, Matthew 5 2 

Ryan, Thomas 2 3 (S|) 

Ryan, Michael 1 13 

Sanderson, John 5 20 

Semple, Hugh 4 7 

Sheppard, Thomas 6 23 (S^) 

Sigsworth, John ... 3 13 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Skelly, Bryan ............ 2 2 

Smith, Jethro ............ 7 9 (SWJ) 

Smith, James ........... 8 15 

Spears, James ........... 14 18 

Spelane, Cornelius ........ 2 4 

Sproule, Wm ............ 13 13 (S) 

Sproule, Robert ........... 8 2 (NJ) 

Sproule, Wm ........... 8 1 

Stephens, Frederick ..... 8 12 

Stephenson, Alex ........ 8 17 (N-1-) 

Strong-, Wm ............. 8 20 

Stewart, Alex ............ 6 19 

Thompson, John ......... 6 23 

Thompson, Robert ....... 4 23 (S) 

Thompson, Wm .......... 4 24 (Spt) 

Thompson, Thomas ...... 4 23 

Teg-art, James ........... 4 8 

Totten, John ............. 3 6 

Tracy, Patrick ........... 1 16 

Tracy, Wm ............. 2 16 

Tracy, Richard .......... 2 16 

Tracy, Richard ........... 1 18 

. Travers, Jeremiah ....... 8 17 

Travers, Whitney ........ 7 16 

Travers, Joshua .......... 8 21 

Walker, Samuel ......... 3 22 

Walker, John ........... 2 21 (N|) 

Walker, William ........ 3 21 

Walker, Joseph .......... 1 13 

Walker, John ............ 4 I 

Walker, William ......... 1 24 (N pt) 

Walton, Jesse T ......... 3 14 

Ward, William .......... 5 24 

Washburn, Josephus ..... 7 18 

Watson, John ............ 6 18 

White, James ............ 3 12 

Widdes, Robert .......... 9 23 

Williams, Gilbert ........ 2 15 



TECUMSEH. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Williams, Daniel 5 13 

Williams, William 8 7 

Willoughby, Henry 8 24 

Willoughby, Ralph 7 22 

Wilson, Edward 5 14 

Wilson, James. 7 24 

Wilson, Francis 6 19 

Wilson, Robert 7 19 

Wilson, William 8 20 

Wise, Henry 3 19 

Worthington, Thomas. ... 4 15 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Amiotte, Cuthbert 15 16 (S^) (sometimes as Amyot) 

Bowden, James 1 80 (SJ) 

Crawford, Mrs 1 100 

DeCheneault, Louis 16 16 

Desaulniers, Louis 15 13 

Jeffs, Robert 1 95 

Labatte, Louis G 17 16 (S|) 

Lanagan, Thomas 2 107 (sometimes as Landrigan) 

McDonald, Edward 1 114 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Armstrong, Robert 1 4 

Cody, John 7 8 (E|) 

Fletcher, Robert 3 3 (W|) 

Gugins, James 6 2 

Jennings, John 2 10 (W|) 

Murphy, Andrew 2 2 

Murphy, Robert 2 3 

McGirr, George 7 

McMulkin, John 6 1 

O'Hearn, Timothy 5 2 

Reid, John 7 8 


TOSORONTIO. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Thompson, John 5 3 

Thompson, Stewart 1 7 


Settler. Con. Lot. 

Barry, Thomas 11 19 

Boyle, William 1 24 

Brown, John 1 20 

Brown, Jonas 10 18 

Bruce, Agnes 1 31 

Carney, Thomas . 9 20 (W|) 

Carson, William 6 17 

Caston, Thomas 1 32 

Caston, Aaron 1 40 

Cockburn, Joseph 1 40 

Crow, Joseph 9 20 

Cresor, John 10 20 

Cullen, Samuel 6 15 

Cullen, J 9 20 

Daly, William 7 18 

Debenham, Charles 1 27 

Drury, Edward. 2 26 

Dunn, John 4 9 

Dunn, John 5 14 

Dunn, Patrick 4 16 (Wi) 

Fletcher, Silas 2 39 

Foster, Thomas 10 18 (E|) 

Gill, Richard 3 11 

Garbutt, Joseph 1 40 

Green, John 7 20 

Henderson, James 2 20 

Hunt, George 4 2 (W|) 

Jones, John 1 19 

Johnston, James 1 39 

Johnston, William 1 4 (NJ) 

Keely, Dennis 2 23 

Kelly, John 7 18 (E|) 

Kemp, James 11 17 


VESPRA. Concluded. 

Settler. Con. Lot. 

Kenny, Miles 7 15 

Larkin, William 1 4 (S) 

Lawrence, John 1 5 

Lodge, Francis 1 20 

Mair, Thomas 1 12 

Martin, Denis 7 17 (E|) . 

Molloy, Thomas 10, 17 

Moore, William 3 12 

Munro, John 7 14 (E) 

Murphy, Peter 3 19 (Ept) 

Murphy, Henry 6 17 (E|) 

McClare, James 5 3 (E^) 

McGorgan, George 2 34 

McGowan, Robert 14 21 (Ept) 

McGuire, Patrick 10 19 (E|) 

Oliver, George 4 12 

Palmer, James 1 20 

Partridge, John 1 17 

Partridge, William 1 17 

Pearsall, Benjamin 3 9 

Preston, James 1 40 

Rollings, William 4 8 (Ept) 

Rolson, John 1 29 

Robertson, Archibald 11 18 

Root, Dudley 11 20 

Seadon, George 9 18 (Wi) 

Silk, Michael 2 19 

Sissons, Jonathan 1 16 

Smith, Hugh 7 16 (E|) 

Stratton, John 2 16 

Sullivan, Mrs 3 18 

Taylor, Henry 1 18 

White, Peter 1 26 

Wickens, Jas., M.P.P 1 13 

Walker, Alexander 4 23 

Williams, Richard 1 36 

Williams, Thomas 5 1 

Williams, Richard G 4 1 

21 n 




Adjala Township 46-52, 270-4 

Algeo, Lewis ( W. Gwillimbury) 13 

Allenwood 218 

Alley, Gerald (Orillia) 1 59, 160 

Alliston 86, 89, 91 

Anderson, Capt. Thos. G., Indian Agent 130, 169, 188 

Anten Mills ! 217 

Apto 214 

Archer, Edward (Flos) 218 

Ardagh, William D. (Barrie) 209 

Armson, William (W. Gwillimbury) 18 

Armstrong, Robert (W. Gwillimbury) 13 

Atkins, Thomas (W. Gwillimbury) 24, 25, 44 

Avening 247-8 

Ball, George (Kempenfeldt) 98 

Ballycroy 46 

Banting, Lieut-Col. R . T. (Essa) 84 

Batteau 255 

Barr, Walter (Medonte) 184 

Barrie 203-11, 266-7 

Barwick, Lieut. -Col. John (Holland Landing) 6, 11 

Baxter, Francis (Duntroon) 235, 255 

Beeton 43, 44 

Bell, Ewart 60 

Bell, Malcolm (Nottawasaga) 233 

Beman, Eli 

Bernard, Richard B., County Clerk 209 

Big Bay Point 67 

Bigelow, Hiram (Tecumseth) 36 

Bingham, John (Barrie) 206 

Bishop, Stephen (Flos) 117 

Blackstock, John (Essa) 

Blackstone, Henry (Holland Landing) 

Blair, Donald (Nottawasaga) 237 

Bolster, G. I . (Creemore) 

Bolster, Launcelot G. (Creemore) 

Booth, Robert (N. Orillia) 172 

Bond Head 27 , 41 

Borland, Capt., fur trader 5, 24, 159, 160, 191, 

Borland, John (Coldwater) 19 1 




Bowerman, Joseph (Dunedin) 244 

Bradford 13-8, 19, 266 

Brough, Rev. Charles (Oro) 157-8, 184 

Brown, John (Dalston) 113 

Bruce, John (Vespra) 107-8, 213 

Bruce, Thomas (Essa) 85 

Campbell, Angus (Duntroon) 236 

Carney, Richard (Barrie) 206 

Carruthers, George (Avening) 247, 248 

Carruthers, John (" Retrospect ") 30, 33, 132, 157 

Carswell, Andrew (Tecumseth) 33 

Carswell, John (Tecumseth) 33, 43 

Carthew, Lieut. -Col. Arthur (Oro) 141 

Carthew, John (Medonte) 191 

Caston, Aaron and Marmaduke (Vespra) 108 

Caswell, George (Coldwater) 191 

Cathey, George (Sunnidale) . 229 

Cayton, John (W. Gwillimbury) 30 

Cherry Creek 53 

Christie, A. R. (Port Severn) 202 

Churchill 59 

Clark, Robert (Tecumseth) 32 

Clifford, Henry A. (Oro) 149, 151 

Climie, Rev. John 58, 236 

Coldwater 188, 191 

Coleman, Andrew (Stayner) 251 

Collingwood 255-61 

Cooke, Thomas (Cookstown) 35 

Cook, Gibson (Bradford) 17 

Cook, H. H., M. P. (Midland) 195, 197 

Cookstown 64, 79 

Cooper, James (Nottawasaga) 244, 248, 252, 255 

Coulson's Corners 28, 30 

Craddock, Joseph (Coldwater) 191 

Craighurst (Morrison's Corners) 120 

Craig, Thomas and John (Craighurst) 1 19-23 

Creemore 244-7 

Creswicke, Henry (Oro), County Surveyor 146 

Crossland 217 

Crowe, Joseph (Sunnidale) 226 

Crowe's Corners 226 

Currie, Donald (Nottawasaga) 238, 241 

Currie, Hugh (Nottawasaga) 233 

Currie, John (Nottawasaga) 242 

Currie, John (Sunnidale) 229 

Currie, Peter (Nottawasaga) 233 

INDEX. 317 


Dallas, Frederick (S. Orillia) 164, 168 

Dallas, James (Orillia) 160, 163-4 

Dallas, William (Nottawasaga) 233-4 

Darling-, Paul, M.D. (S. Orillia) 168, 169 

Davidson, John (Holland Landing) 12 

Davis, George (Essa) 84 

Debenham, Charles (Vespra) 107 

Dempsey, Rev. Lawrence (Penetanguishene) 132 

DesCheneaux, Louis (Tiny) , 220 

Dinwoody, George (Essa) 77-8 

Driffel, Thomas (Bradford) 17 

Drinkwater, Capt. John (N. Orillia) 172, 184- 

Drury, Joseph (Oro) 109, 111, 114 

Duff, Thomas (Essa) 77-8 

Dunedin 244 

Duntroon 232-8 

Duross, James (Adjala) . 50 

Edgar, David (Barrie) 204, 205 

Edmanson, John (Bradford) 14 

Edmonds, Phoebe (Holland Landing) 4, 124 

Egan, Keran (Adjala) 51 

Ellison, James (Tecumseth) 41 

Elmvale 218-9 

Essa Township 77-89, 274.5 

Evans, James (W. Gwillimbury) 29 

Fagan, the poet (John C . Colgan) 44-5 

Falconbridge, John K. (Bradford) 18 

Fennell, Joseph (W. Gwillimbury) 31 

Ferguson, Archibald (Nottawasaga) 234 

Ferguson, Peter (Nottawasaga) 234 

Ferguson, Thos. R., M.P. (Cookstown) 64 

Finch, John (S. Orillia) 168, 169 

Fisher, S. (Sunnidale) 229 

Fitzgerald, John (Medonte) 192 

Fletcher, William (Alliston) 86 

Flos Township 117-9, 214-9 276 

Fowler, John (Medonte) 192 

Franklin, Sir John 

Fraser, Henry (Orillia) 167, 175 

Fraser, Rev. W T illiam, D. D 27 

Frazer, Samuel (Tay) 193 

French, Gabriel (Flos) 218 

Gallagher, Dennis (Flos) 214, 217 

Gait, John (tours in this county) 3, 132 



Garbutt, John (W. Gwillimbury) 31 

Gibbard, William, surveyor 235, 259 

Gill, Jacob, millwright, Indian Dept 159, 160, 162, 188 

Gillespie, Alex. (Sunnidale) 226 

Glencairn 93 

Glen Huron 248, 251 

Goldie, John (" Diary ") 3 

Gravett, James (Flos) 118 

Gray, Rev. Dr. John (Orillia) 164 

Grouette, William (Coldwater) 191 

-Hall, Capt. Basil (Travels) 3 

Hallen, Rev. George (Medonte and Penetanguishene) 187 

Hall, Jones and Joseph (Adjala) 49 

-Hamilton, Capt. James M. (Penetanguishene) 132, 169, 170, 180 

Hamilton, James (Adjala) 50 

Hamilton, James (Nottawasaga) 248 

Hamilton, John (Flos) 118 

Hamilton, William B. (Collingwood) 132, 259 

Hammill, William (Tecumseth) ; 43 

Harcourt, Luke (Adjala) 50, 242 

Harris, Rev. Dean 3 

Hart, Isaac (Dalston) 114 

Harvey, James (Elmvale) 218 

Harvie, John (S. Orillia) 168, 169-70 

Hawke, Benjamin (Tecumseth) 10, 34 

Hawkestone 99, 142-3 

Head, Sir George (" Forest Scenes ") 203 

Hemy, John (Thornton) 83 

Hewson, Francis (Duntroon) 234 

Hewson, Francis, sr. (Big Bay Point) . . 67 

Hewson, William (Innisfil) , . 67-8 

Hickling, Charles (Vespra) 112, 213 

Hickling, George (Oro) Ill, 118 

Hickling, William (Oro) Ill 

Hillsdale 123 

Hodgson, Fred. T. (Collingwood) 237, 252, 260 

-Hogg, Lieut. -Col. John (Collingwood) 260, 261 

Holland Landing 1-12, 265, 266 

Honeyford, W. J. (Nottawasaga) 236, 247 

Hughes, George P. (Tecumseth) 43, 44 

Hughes, Patrick (Tecumseth) 44 

Hussey, John P., (Medonte) 192 

Innisfil Township 53-76, 285-9 

Ivy 84 

INDEX. 319 


Jackson, Nathan, (W. Gwillimbury) 31 

Jakeway, Aaron, (Holland Landing) \\ 

Jardine, Andrew, (Nottawasaga) 241 

Jardine, David, (Nottawasaga) . . , 241 

Jeffs, Edward, ( W. Gwillimbury) 24, 27, 124 

Jeffs, Robert, (Tiny) ' 124 

Johnson, Joseph, (Holland Landing) 4 ? 95 

Jones, Rev. Peter, ("Journal") 3 ? ' 132 

Joyce, Patrick, (N. Orillia) ' 175 

Kean, John, (Orillia) 167-8,176,177, 198 

Keenansville 49 

Kempenfeldt 95, 96-100, 101, 267-8 

Kidd, James, (Cookstown) 28 

Knox Church, Oro 155 

Lafontaine 220 

Laidlaw, Douglas, (Holland Landing) 12 

Lally, Edmund S., County Treasurer 72, 73, 75 

Landerkin, James, (W. Gwillimbury) 27 

Lane, Jonathan, (Barrie) 210 

Laughton, Capt. William, (Holland Landing) 4-5" 

Lawrence, Joseph H., (Collingwood) 259 

Lawrie, John, (Innisfil) 57 

Lawson, Walter, (Tay) 202 

Leadley, Robert, (Vespra) 211 

Lewis, David, (Essa) 81 

Little, William C., M.P 74, 76 

Lount, Gabriel, surveyor 9 

Lount, George, (Holland Landing) 9, 10, 14 

Lount, Samuel, M.P. for Simcoe 9-10, 102 

Luck, Edward, (Crownhill) 112 

McAllister, Archibald, (Nottawasaga) 235 

McAvoy, John, (Flos) 214 

McCallum, John, (Nottawasaga) 241 

McClain, Samuel, (Essa) '. 77-8 

McClure, Samuel, (Medonte) 184 

McConkey, Thos. D., M.P 61, 63 

McDougall, David, (Flos) 117 

McDougall, Rev. George, missionary 75, 117 

McEwan, Archibald, (Nottawasaga) 238 

McGowan, Robert, (Vespra) 213 

McManus, Lieut . -Col. George, (Mono Mills) 47 

McMaster, Arthur, (Holland Landing) 11,12, 17 

McWatt, Lieut.-Col. John 138, 206, 224, 259-60- 

Macaulay, Gilbert, (Sunnidale) 226 



Macdonnell, Michael, (Tay) 193 

Maconchy, Thomas, (Gilford) 17, 60 

Macgillivray, John, (Nottawasaga) 241 

Mair, Thomas, (Vespra) 102, 211 

Manning, James, (Tecumseth) 33 

Matchedash Township 180-3 

May, Thomas, (Holland Landing) 12 

Medonte Township 120-3, 184-92, 289-93 

Midland 194-8 

Miller, Robert, (Medonte) 150, 191 

Milloy, William, (Bradford) 14 

Moffatt, Andrew, (Orillia) 160, 163 

Monkman's Meeting-House, (Tecumseth) 40 

Moon, Edmund, (Medonte) 191 

Moran, Dominick, (Flos) 214 

Mount St. Louis 192 

Mulock, Thomas Homan, M.D., (Bond Head) 27 

Mulock, William, (S. Orillia) 167, 168, 169 

Munro, John, (Vespra) 211 

Murphy, Robert, (Tosorontio) 92 

Neelands, Hamilton, (Nottawasaga). . 247 

Nolan, Henry, (Tecumseth) 33 

Nottawa village , 252 

Nottawasaga Township 232-61, 293-9 

Oades, Francis, (Dalston). ...:.. 114 

^O'Brien, Lieut. -Col. Edward G., (Oro) 134-7, 144 

Oliver, George, (Vespra) 211, 213 

-Oliver, Capt. Robert, R.N., (Oro) 97, 138 

Orillia Town 159-68, 268 

Orillia Township, (North) , . . 172-9, 295 

Orillia Township, (South) 159-71, 295 

Oro Township 108-16, 134-58, 296-301 

Osborne, A. C. , (Historical Writings) 223 

Osier, Rev. Canon F. L., (Bond Head) 27 

Parker, Robert and Thomas, (W. Gwillimbury) 23 

Partridge, John and Charles, (Crownhill) 104, 113-4 

Pass, Dr. Archibald 209 

Paton, Peter, Sunnidale 231 

Penetanguishene 127-33, 268-9 

Penville 40 

Phelps, Francis, (Holland Landing) 

Phelps, Orson J., Sheriff 215-7 

Port Severn.. 202 

INDEX. 321 


Quinlari, Michael, (Vespra) 212 

Quinn, James, (Orillia) * 162, 184 

Ramsay, George, (Tecumseth) 35 

Rankin, Charles, surveyor 85, 236 

Rawson, William, (Medonte) 191 

Raymond, Rev. Ari, (Oro) 150 

Reid, Archibald, (Medonte) 184 

Reid, John, (Tosorontio) 90-1 

Revolte, Dedin, (Penetanguishene) 130 

Rhodes, John, (Nottawasaga) 247 

Richardson, William, (Oro) 115, 117, 150 

Richie, Wellesley, Government immigration agent 100, 142, 158, 225 

226, 229 

Ritchie, John, (Elmvale) 218 

Robinson, Arthur G., C.E., (Orillia) 164, 175 

Robinson, Dr. Charles, (N. Orillia) , 175 

Robinson, Hon. Peter 5-6,9,11, 24 

Robinson, Joel F. , (Bond Head) 27 

Robinson, William, (W. Gwillimbury) 28 

Roe, William, fur trader 5, 24 

Root, Dudley, (Vespra) 212 

Ross, John, (Sunnidale) 231 

Ross, William, (Duntroon) 237 

Rowat, John, (Flos) 214 

Rowe, Basil, (Bass Lake) 170 

Rowley, John, (Flos) , 118 

Rowley, William, (Flos) 219 

Rugby ; 156 

Ruthven, Alexander, (Essa) 85 


Sanford, Sidney M., County Treasurer 143, 206 

Sanson, James, (Orillia) . 159, 162, 168 

Scadding, Rev. Dr. Henry, ("Toronto of Old"). .. 128, 130, 132, 141 

161, 204 

Scanlon, Mark, (W. Gwillimbury) 29 

Scobie, Hugh, (Bradford) 18 

Seeler, Henry, (Sunnidale) 226 

Semple, Hugh, (Tecumseth) 42 

Shanty Bay 134-9 

Shaw, Donald, (Sunnidale) 225 

Sing, Cyrus and Josiah R., (Nottawasaga) , 244, 251 

Sissons, Jonathan, Sr., (Vespra) 104 

Small, Daniel, (Adjala) 50 

Smith, Benjamin W. , the first sheriff 7 

Smith, W. L. , (pioneer narrative) 229 

Smith, Thompson, lumberman 

22 (n) 



Sneath, George, (Vespra) 211, 226, 229 

Speers, Hugh, (Essa) * 84 

Speers, James, (Essa) 83 

Squire, Philemon, (Holland Landing) 5, 1 69 

St. George, Quetton, (Washago) 176 

John, Capt., (S. Orillia) 169, 171 

Stayner 249, 251-2 

Steele, Capt. Elmes, (Medonte) 184, 187 

Steele, John C., (Oro) 145 

Stephens, Jas . D. , (Nottawasaga) 248, 251 255 

Stephens, Marshall N. , (Glencairn) 93, 255 

Stoddart, John, (Bradford) 18 

Strathy, John, County Clerk 209 

Strong, William, (Essa) 82 

Sturgeon Bay. 209 

Sunnidale Corners 226 

Sunnidale Township 225-31, 301-2 

Sutherland, Alexander, fur trader 5 

Swalm, Conrad, (Nottawasaga) 243 

Swan, Thomas and James, Craighurst 117 

Tay Township 125-7,193-202, 302-3 

Tecumseth Township 32-45, 303-1 1 

Tegart, James M . , (Tecumseth) 42 

-T-hompson, Capt. John, (S. Orillia) 169, 171 

Thompson, Samuel, ("Reminiscences") 142, 144, 212, 225, 232 

Thompson, William, (Medonte) , . . 192 

Thornbury, Frederick C . , ( Avening) 247-8 

Thorne, Benjamin, (Holland Landing mill) 6, 11 

Thorpe, John, (W. Gwillimbury) 29 

Throope, Calvin, (Sunnidale) 251 

Tindall, James, (W. Gwillimbury) 30 

Tiny Township .'... 124-5,220-4,270, 311 


Tomlinson, Joseph, (Minesing) 212 

Tosorontio Township 90-4, 311-2 

Totten, John, (Tecumseth) 43 

Tottenham 42 

Turner, Gavin, (Flos) 214 

Tyson, Isaiah, (Holland Landing) 5, 9 

Underwood, Joel, (Collingwood) 256 

Vespra Township 102-8, 203-13, 312-3 

Victoria Harbor 198 

Vigo 217 

INDEX. 323 


Walker, Alexander, (Vespra) 204, 205, 230 

Walker, Capt. E. A. , (Barrie) 138 

Walker, Georg-e, (Medonte) 184 

Walker, Joseph, (Tecumseth) 33 

Wallace, James, (W. Gwillimbury) 13 

Waubaushene 201-2 

Webster, Edward, (Creemore) 244 

West Gwillimbury Township 13-31, 277-85 

White, James, (Dalston) 113-4 

White, Peter, (Dalston) 107, 213 

Wickens, James, M.P., (Vespra) 102, 130 

Williams, "Richard, {Vespra) 108 

Williams, Rev. Thomas, ("Memories"). 108, 115, 158, 162, 204, 212, 229 

Wilson, Lieut. Georg-e, R.N., (Medonte) 184, 188 

Wood, Lieut. William H . , (N. Orillia) . 175 

Wyebridg-e 124 

Young, H.C., Government immigration agent 232 



F Hunter, Andrew Frederick 

5545 A history of Simcoe 

S5H8 County